King County businesses begin preparations for new vaccine requirements
With new rules surrounding COVID vaccine requirements taking effect in King County at the end of the month, local businesses are beginning preparations.
The new policy is set to take effect on Oct. 25 for most businesses, making it so that restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, and music venues, among others, will be required to have customers provide either proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours.
That process is being helped along by a partnership between Seattle-King County Public Health and the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce, having now launched a website designed to help businesses prepare for the new requirements. The effort has been dubbed “KC Vax Verified,” and includes a step-by-step toolkit.
“As employers prepare to implement the new vaccine verification program over the next several weeks, the Chamber is ready to be their champion,” Seattle Chamber CEO Rachel Smith says on the group’s website. “Thanks to a tight-knit partnership with King County, we are getting information and tools ready to make compliance simple, and we have built a support network of experts to help businesses of all sizes throughout our region.”
“Members will have a partner in this every step of the way,” she added.
The toolkit lays out the specifics of the vaccine requirements, instructions on signage, training guidance for staff and employees, and how to communicate the new policy to customers, warning that “businesses should never attempt to physically engage a combative or violent customer who refuses to comply.”
“If a person becomes violent or threatens staff, customers or others, staff should avoid physical contact and immediately call 911,” it details, while clarifying that “emergency responders should only be called if a patron becomes threatening or violent and not for routine enforcement of the vaccine verification policy.”
It also provides downloadable vaccine requirement signage that businesses can use to post in windows, as well a recorded hour-long info session answering some of the more commonly asked questions.
Businesses can access the KC Vax Verified website here.