PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday people will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test at large events starting in mid-November.
The governor said the requirement will apply to indoor events with 1,000 or more people and outdoor events with 10,000 or more people. Attendees 12 and older must be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination, or be able to show a negative COVID test from the last 72 hours. The requirement goes into effect on Nov. 15.
Inslee defined “large events” as conventions, concerts, sporting events, theme parks, etc. The rule does not apply to large venues like shopping malls, museums, or grocery stores. Religious services and K-12 school events that take place on school grounds are exempt.
“We will not allow another wave to shutdown our schools or our businesses,” said Inslee. “We cannot, and we will not, surrender to this disease. We cannot and will not think that the status quo is good enough. We have got to get on top of this disease and knock these numbers down. Fortunately, we have a tremendous weapon to do that with, and that is this vaccine.”
Inslee said more than 70% of Washington residents 12 and up have been vaccinated to date and more than 1.6 million eligible people have not yet received a first dose. He said cases have been declining “but we know they can come right back up.”
Inslee was joined during the Thursday press conference by Department of Health Secretary Umair Shah, Lacy Fehrenbach, the deputy secretary for COVID response with the Washington State Department of Health, and Molly Voris, the governor’s special advisor for pandemic health response.
“This is a preventable disease now, yet our hospital systems — our healthcare systems — continue to be stressed, stretched, and they are strained and we need to do everything we can to support our healthcare system as that healthcare system is here to support us,” said Shah.
Teachers and healthcare workers in Washington are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, which means they had to get their final dose in a vaccine series no later than Oct. 4.