Governor’s new outdoor mask mandate in effect today

People attending outdoor events with 500 or more in attendance are required to wear a mask whether they are vaccinated or not

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest mandate went into effect today (Mon., Sept. 13). The governor’s mask mandate will require that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more in attendance wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated.

Inslee stated that his new outdoor mask requirement was necessary due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Washington over the past two months. The recent surge in cases has been fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest mandate went into effect today (Mon., Sept. 13). The governor’s mask mandate will require that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more in attendance wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated. This crowd gathered Saturday at the Vancouver Waterfront for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Photo by Andi Schwartz
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest mandate went into effect today (Mon., Sept. 13). The governor’s mask mandate will require that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more in attendance wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated. This crowd gathered Saturday at the Vancouver Waterfront for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Photo by Andi Schwartz

As of Sept. 2, Clark County has had 32,455 COVID-19 cases, with 20 percent of those cases in the 20-29 age group, followed by the 30-39 and then the 40-49 age groups. The Clark County Public Health (CCPH) department reports 58.2 percent of people age 12 and older are fully vaccinated. In Washington, the Department of Health reports that an estimated 67 percent of residents 12 and up are fully vaccinated.

As of Sept. 1, the state Department of Health reported an average of 3,300 new cases a day, compared to about 350 new cases per day at the end of June. Hospitalizations around the state have grown to about three per day per 100,000 residents at the end of June to about 19 per day at the end of August.

Health officials have suggested the “fifth wave’’ of COVID-19 cases peaked in early September but they remain cautious that another surge could follow. 

On Aug. 18, Inslee announced an indoor mask mandate in the state for individuals five years and older. That same day Inslee expanded his previous vaccine mandate to include employees working in childcare, early learning, K-12 and higher education settings. Inslee had previously ordered most state employees and health care workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Inslee’s newest mask mandate will apply to events such as fairs, concerts and sporting events.

High school sporting events

With the new, expanded mask mandate now in effect, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) issued a reminder that masks are required at any event with 500 or more attendees. 

To calculate the 500, schools should include fans, event staff, bands and anyone else who may occupy seating areas. Coaches, players, officials and other personnel on the field, along with cheer/dance/drill squads on the sidelines are not counted. 

WIAA officials encourage schools to be proactive in adhering to these guidelines with facility signage, in-game public address reads, etc. that highlight the masking expectations. They also suggested officials add a summary of the masking guidelines to school and athletic websites as a resource for fans and visiting fans who may attend events at school facilities.

The Governor’s Office and State Department of Health will allow extracurricular activities to continue so long as they trust that member schools will enforce the mandate at each and every event. 

“We have all done a lot of work over the last 18 months to get sports and activities back up and running and we need to do everything in our power to make sure these participation opportunities continue to be available for our students,’’ read a statement from the WIAA Monday.

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Melissa
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Melissa
2 months ago

Another attempt to “protect the vaccinated” (I guess because being vaccinated doesn’t protect us?)

M. Lang
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M. Lang
2 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

It protects us. Very well and thoroughly. 99.2% of the people who die of covid now are only the unvaccinated. Still, since there’s an off chance a vaxed person could pass along the delta even tho’ they have no obvious sickness, it is prudent and just and plain old kind to want to avoid passing on the delta variant to others who might not be able to be vaxed.

another factor is that unmasking the vaccinated originally went by the honor system: unmask if you’re vaxed. So everyone unmasked. It was even the unvaccinated who unmasked. That ruined the plan.

bill
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bill
1 month ago
Reply to  M. Lang

nonsense. People that are vaxxed will be the biggest group to die, because the vaxx doesn’t work! And now they are mandating our children get jabbed, just when european nations are starting to ban the vaxx for kids. Because they are more likely to die from the jab than covid!

Susan
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Susan
2 months ago

Oh, thank goodness we now have a number! It is so reassuring to know that Covid does not strike any crowd of people unless it is 500 or more. So an event next week, at which there will be only 495 attendees, will be Covid-free… right? (asking for a friend)

Last edited 2 months ago by Susan
Margaret
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Margaret
2 months ago

Data released by the CDC shows that between Dec. 14, 2020 and Sept. 3, 2021, a total of 675,593 adverse events following COVID vaccines were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The data included a total of 14,506 reports of deaths.Excluding “foreign reports” filed in VAERS, 539,473 adverse events, including 6,577 deaths and 41,840 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020 and Sept. 3, 2021.
Of the 6,577 U.S. deaths reported as of Sept. 3, 18% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 31% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated. 21% of deaths were related to cardiac disorders.

VAERS is a passive voluntary reporting system which does not include all adverse events and deaths that have occurred after vaccination. For details about the types of serious adverse events reported, see the weekly report by the Children’s Health Defense.

Informed Choice Washington posts news about vaccinations and maintaining medical freedom to make informed choices about medical products and procedures. Timely information about vaccine exemptions and natural immunity is compiled for residents including students of all ages facing vaccination requirements and mandates as a condition of education or employment.

Valerie J.
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Valerie J.
2 months ago

Just like every other ‘mandate’ (not a law, remember, just Inslee’s recommendation) this is stupid and arbitrary. Is someone going to stand at the gate of every venue and count each person entering and when they reach critical mass, have officials make a loudspeaker announcement, “Attention, everyone! We now have 500 people in the stadium. You must now wear your masks! (oh… err… um…) Never mind, two people left. You can take them off again!”

Ron
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Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Valerie J.

Regardless of the silliness of this mandate, it does carry the force of law

Michael Marsh
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Michael Marsh
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

No it doesn’t. If you really think that the police would try to enforce it, you’re 100% wrong.

Ron
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Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Marsh

Did I say that? No, no I didn’t. If they had the time to waste and wanted to make the effort, they could actually do so.

M. Lang
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M. Lang
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Marsh

Not likely the police but the state could use the full force of the law upon the people in charge of the event.

M. Lang
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M. Lang
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Yes. It does. Let’s consider that we know all unvaccinated children are especially likely to catch delta Covid (everyone under 12 years right now)

M. Lang
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M. Lang
2 months ago
Reply to  Valerie J.

A mandate carries the full power of the law. Failing to follow any state governor’s mandate could result in a fine and/ or potentially 90 days in jail. A mandate is essentially a law.

bill
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bill
1 month ago

how long will this tyrant be allowed to dictate our lives?

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