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Puget Sound health leaders urge COVID-safe measures while enjoying warmer weather

While these sunny spring days are drawing crowds outdoors, health officials plead for people to maintain pandemic protocols, like face masks and social distancing.

SEATTLE — As more people across western Washington head outdoors this week to enjoy the warmer weather, health leaders warn to stay vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.

The concern lies in King County's popular outdoor parks and beaches, where health officials worry people may let their guard down. 

Alki Beach is known to draw large crowds when the weather improves. Business owners along the waterfront explain how they intend to keep customers safe.

“We have the social distance, of course, and then we have the limitation of capacity," said Sophia Cho, owner of the popular Pepperdock Restaurant on Alki Avenue. It’s a family-friendly spot serving hamburgers and ice cream cones. It’s also an eatery hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions. 

“We suffered so much throughout,” Cho said. “But we’re hoping it will pick up this year.” 

Public Health – Seattle and King County Dr. Jeff Duchin tweeted, “For now, we’ve leveled off near the Phase 2 cutoffs - where we go next is up to us.” 

The same sentiment was shared by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a statement to KING 5 News.

Durkan said, “Seattle is an incredible city all year round – but spring and summer in Seattle truly make our city one of the best places in the world to live. As warmer weather returns to our region, I sincerely hope that people take this opportunity to enjoy all that our city has to offer – from Golden Gardens to Seward Park, to Pike Place Market and beyond – but I urge everyone to do so safely. We have already seen the beginning of a fourth wave due to the presence of variants in our community, which could push us back into Phase Two.

While we are taking steps towards reopening, we all still have a role to play in defeating this pandemic. I know everyone is fatigued, and we all want this pandemic to be over. But now is not the time to let up on our efforts. Please continue to wear your mask in public, keep your distance and limit social gatherings, get tested and stay home if you feel sick, and sign up for a vaccine.”