LOCAL NEWS

Everything you need to know about King County’s new vaccine requirements

Sep 17, 2021, 3:36 PM | Updated: Oct 25, 2021, 5:01 am
King County vaccine requirements...
King County's vaccine requirement takes effect on Oct. 25. (Dow Constantine, Twitter)
(Dow Constantine, Twitter)

New requirements for indoor businesses in King County took effect on Monday. But what exactly does that entail?

New King County vaccine requirement a ‘sensible step’

The new policy took effect on Oct. 25 for most businesses, with local health officials citing concerns over the potential for a continued rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as colder weather begins to drive people indoors in the fall and winter months.

Which businesses and events will be affected?

The requirements applies largely to dining, entertainment, and nightlife venues. That includes indoor dining at restaurants, as well as bars, nightclubs, music venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, gyms/fitness centers, conventions, outdoor events with more than 500 people, and professional and collegiate sports.

Patrons and attendees for relevant businesses and events will have to either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, or of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken with 72 hours.

What qualifies as proof of vaccination?

The county’s directive allows for a handful of methods of providing proof of vaccination, permitting the following:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination record card, or a photo of the card
  • A printed certificate or QR code from MyIRMobile.com (Note: MyIR Mobile is currently limited to English language only; for language assistance, or additional help getting your records, call the Washington State Vaccine Helpline at 833-VAX-HELP, or email [email protected])
  • Other official immunization record from within or outside the United States, including from your health care provider. A photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.

Providing personal identification will not be required by the county. That said, many restaurants, bars, and music venues in Seattle do still require a matching ID, and in some cases, do not accept a negative COVID-19 test as an alternative to proof of vaccination. Businesses with more stringent rules will be permitted to keep those restrictions in place.

Are there exceptions?

Those under the age of 12 — and therefore not yet eligible to be vaccinated — are not required to show proof of a negative COVID test.

People dining outdoors and takeout customers at restaurants will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, provided the business doesn’t have its own restrictions in place. Grocery stores are similarly exempt.

The order also sets an extended implementation date of Dec. 6 for restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less.

Why is the county opting for new vaccine requirements now?

The hope from local officials is two-fold: to reduce contact in crowded areas among those who are not protected by the vaccine, and to increase vaccinations overall.

“We are at a critical point in this pandemic, with high levels of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and no certainty as to what will follow the delta variant,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “Vaccination is our best shield against this deadly virus.”

An analysis from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations conducted for the county found that a vaccine verification policy for restaurants, bars, and gyms and fitness centers alone could have a significant positive impact, preventing between 17,900 and 75,900 infections, 421 to 1,760 hospitalizations, and 63 to 257 deaths locally over six months with the order in place.

How long will this be in place?

While the exact timeline is unclear, officials note that it’s not expected to be permanent. The plan for now is to revisit the order in April 2022, six months after the directive’s initial Oct. 25 implementation.

Local News

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee speaks prior to U.S. President Joe Biden's appearance at Green...
MyNorthwest Staff

Gas shortages and record high prices plague Washington drivers

Gas stations in Washington are resetting their price boards to accommodate double digits in preparation for fuel prices potentially reaching $10 a gallon.
16 hours ago
(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

Mayor’s search for permanent Police Chief looms over Seattle amid depleting law enforcement numbers

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell recently consulted with a hiring firm as the decision to choose the next Chief of Police heats up.
2 days ago
Seattle Sun...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Sunny skies, warm temperatures forecast for western Washington this weekend

Sunny skies and warm temperatures are forecast for much of western Washington, with some areas expected to reach temps in the 70s.
2 days ago
Student STEM...
Nicole Jennings

From athletes to mathletes: STEM Signing Day shines light on WA scholars

STEM Signing Day gives stellar science, technology, engineering, and math scholars a chance to shine in the same way as high school athletes.
2 days ago
Prison 900x506...
MyNorthwest Staff

Governor Inslee cancels parole determination for triple murderer

Governor Inslee has cancelled an order that granted parole to Timothy Pauley, who had been incarcerated for three counts of first degree murder in 1981.
2 days ago
revive I-5...
MyNorthwest Staff

Revive I-5, Montlake Bridge closure will cause traffic issues this weekend

The sunny forecast will put Seattleites in a great mood this weekend, but the traffic won't thanks to repairs to I-5 and the Montlake Bridge.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Everything you need to know about King County’s new vaccine requirements