Proof of vaccination to be required at all large events in Washington starting November 15

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required at all large events in Washington starting on November 15. 

Governor Jay Inslee announced that all sporting events, fairs, theme parks and concerts will be required to verify vaccination status for any guests 12 and older. This rule applies to indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees and outdoor events with 10,000 or more attendees. 

There will be several ways companies and venues can verify vaccination status. They can request CDC record cards or a photo of the card, a printed certificate or screenshot from or other immunizations records from health providers. 

Proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event will also be accepted.

Grocery stores, shopping malls, religious services and events that are held on K12 school grounds are exempt from the order. 

King County — home to Seattle — issued an order that takes effect Oct. 25 and requires proof of vaccination or a negative test for outdoor events with 500 or more people, indoor entertainment and recreational events and indoor dining at restaurants and bars.

And starting last month, California has required either proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test for indoor gatherings of 1,000 or more. California’s rule recommends, but doesn’t require, vaccine proof or negative tests for outdoor events of 10,000 people or more.

The latest requirement in Washington comes as a crucial deadline for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate approaches Monday that requires more than 800,000 workers in the state to either be fully vaccinated or have received an exemption and job accommodation in order to keep their jobs. The mandate applies to most state workers, long-term care employees, and teachers and staff at the state’s schools, including the state’s colleges and universities. The only opt-out is a medical or religious exemption, though the exemption only ensures continued employment if a job accommodation can be made.

The governor’s Office of Financial Management on Monday released updated numbers that show nearly 90% of the 61,821 state workers covered by the mandate have been vaccinated as of last week, up from just 49% a month ago. More than 1,500 employees have received either a medical or religious exemption and have been accommodated by their agencies, according to the state, which increases the vaccination rate of non-accommodated employees to 92%. And the Washington State Hospital Association said this week that nearly 90% of Washington’s hospital staff statewide are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of this week, more than 77% of people age 12 and older have initiated vaccination in Washington state and more than 71% are fully vaccinated.

There have been more than 610,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases — plus about 79,000 “probable” cases — in Washington state, and 8,152 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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