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King County to require masks at large outdoor events

Masks will soon be required at all outdoor events with 500 or more people in King County regardless of a person’s vaccination status.

SEATTLE — Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Public Health – Seattle & King County issued a local health officer order Thursday requiring residents to wear a face mask at outdoor events with 500 or more people.

The requirement applies to everyone age 5 and older, regardless of a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status. The order goes into effect Tuesday, Sept. 7.

"With high rates of disease spread, and our health care system straining to keep up, it is time to take additional steps to keep ourselves and our communities safe," a post on the Public Health Insider blog reads.

Masks are “strongly recommended” for all residents over the age of 5 at other outdoor events or settings where people cannot socially distance and remain at least 6 feet apart, according to the order.

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The statewide universal mask mandate for indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status remains in effect.

"The virus that causes COVID-19 can still sometimes spread outdoors, especially in large groups where physical distancing is difficult or impossible. This is an even greater risk now that the highly contagious delta variant is dominant in King County," Public Health – Seattle & King County said.

Click here to read the local health officer order.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, health director for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, announced a health order requiring all guests at the Washington State Fair to wear a mask. The order goes into effect on Sept. 3 and makes the mask requirement a condition of the fair's operation.

The Washington State Fair, which is the largest fair in the Pacific Northwest, runs at the Puyallup Fairgrounds from Sept. 3-26.