How should King County treat businesses not following new vaccine requirements?

Nov 10, 2021, 2:24 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2021, 7:45 am
King County vaccine requirements...
Indoor businesses in King County must check for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

How should King County health officials respond to complaints over businesses reportedly not complying with new COVID-19 vaccine requirements? KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin talked about where they stand on Wednesday’s edition of the Gee & Ursula Show.

This stems from a recent report from the Seattle Times about complaints from customers who allege that nearly 150 King County businesses haven’t been following the new countywide policy that requires proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test.

According to the Times, the county has only followed up with five of those complaints as part of its larger goal to focus less on active enforcement and more on education, unless there’s a particularly egregious instance where a business is intentionally flouting the rules. But is that a reasonable strategy?

“I just don’t think it needs to be that big of a deal,” Ursula said. “And I think, from what I’ve seen — I live in King County and that’s where I eat at restaurants most — it hasn’t been a big deal.”

“I’m good with what they’re doing, responding to the egregious ones,” Gee agreed. “I like the fact that (King County is) like, ‘hey, we don’t have time for all of that.’ Most restaurants are going to do the right thing.”

That said, Ursula also noted that she doesn’t think businesses that choose to enact even more stringent vaccination policies should become focal points of online hate and criticism. That was seen recently with a local pizzeria, which instituted a vaccination policy for takeout customers in addition to those dining in.

“Don’t give them your business, but don’t go and try to ruin them now because you disagree with that and it makes you mad,” she noted. “You probably weren’t going to go there anyway.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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How should King County treat businesses not following new vaccine requirements?