Statewide outdoor mask mandate at large events takes effect Monday
A statewide mask mandate for large, outdoor events takes effect Monday, Sept. 13.
The expanded mask mandate was announced last week by Gov. Jay Inslee. It applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status, at events with over 500 attendees.
An example of an event where masks would now be required outside would be sporting events in Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, and Seattle Mariners all announced last week that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all attendees 12 and older. That mandate takes effect for Seahawks fans starting with the home game on Sept. 19, for Sounders fans at the home game on Oct. 3, and for any postseason games the Mariners are involved in.
The Climate Pledge Arena and Seattle Kraken also announced Tuesday that all guests age 12 and older must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon entry.
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The outdoor mask mandate in Washington adds on to the state’s existing mask mandate, which required masks in all public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Both Gov. Inslee and state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah acknowledged that while outdoor settings are generally the safest venues to prevent the spread of COVID-19, “when people are packed tightly together, we’re getting transmission.”
“When you combine large crowds with the delta variant, we’re going to keep seeing these super-spreader events,” Inslee cautioned, pointing to the over 200 infections stemming from Watershed Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in late July and early August.
An outdoor mask mandate had already been in effect in King and Pierce counties since Tuesday, Sept. 7.