Washington Large-Event Outdoor Mask Mandate Takes Effect Today

Sep 13, 2021

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that people must wear masks at outdoor events with more than 500 people, regardless of vaccination status. It takes effect today [Monday].
Credit TVW screenshot

A new Washington mask mandate goes into effect today. It applies to crowds of more than 500 people in outdoor settings, even for people who have been vaccinated.

“For anyone wondering why we are doing this, I guess it should be pretty obvious. It’s because we’re seeing evidence of transmission, unfortunately, in outdoor settings. The Watershed Festival at the Gorge led to more than 200 infections from that one event and it was outdoors," said Governor Jay Inslee last week.

That means fans at next Sunday’s Seahawks game at Lumen Field in Seattle and next Saturday’s Cougar game at Martin Stadium in Pullman will have to don a face mask to watch their favorite teams play.

“The outdoors remain the safest place for people to be. We understand that. But when people are packed tightly together, we’re getting transmission and ultimate hospitalizations and death. When you combine large crowds with the Delta variant without any mitigation measure in place, we’re going to keep seeing these super spreader events, even in outdoor environments, science has proven a mask can reduce those types of outdoor transmissions," Inslee said.

Washington’s hospitals are seeing their highest numbers of Covid-positive patients during the 18-month-long pandemic.