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It was announced yesterday that King County will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all patrons and customers over the age of 12 or a negative COVID-19 test as a condition of entry to the following establishments:

  • All indoor restaurants, bars, and taverns
  • All indoor entertainment and recreational establishments, such as (these are examples, not a complete list):
    • Entertainment and performing arts venues
    • Night clubs
    • Music and concert venues
    • Movie theaters
    • Museums
    • Indoor collegiate and professional sports stadiums and arenas
    • Exhibition halls and convention centers
    • Gyms
    • Conference centers
  • Outdoor recreational and entertainment events with 500 or more people, such as (these are examples, not a complete list):
    • Collegiate sports
    • Professional sports
    • Concerts

These requirements are effective October 25, 2021, except for indoor restaurants, bars, and taverns with seating capacity of less than 12, which must comply effective December 6, 2021.

The following are acceptable as proof of vaccination (the burden of checking is on the establishment):

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card, or photo of CDC Vaccine Record Card
  • QR Code, digital or printed certificate from MyIRmobile.com
  • Vaccine administration record from a vaccine provider, including an individual’s doctor, pharmacy, or other official immunization record from within or outside the U.S., including a photo or photocopy
  • Specific mobile applications that verify vaccination status will be allowed if approved by the WA Department of Health or Public Health – Seattle & King County (to date, none have been approved)
  • Additional identification, such as a driver’s license or ID, is not required.
  • Proof of vaccination cannot be more closely scrutinized based on an individual’s race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age
  • Venues cannot refuse to accept valid proof of vaccination that is authorized by the order, such as World Health Organization-approved vaccination from countries outside of the U.S. or photographs of CDC vaccination cards
  • The following are acceptable as an alternative to proof of vaccination:
  • Digital or printed documentation from a testing agent, including a laboratory, health care provider, or pharmacy of:
    • Print or digital documentation of a negative FDA-approved PCR test administered within the previous 72 hours, or
    • A negative FDA-approved rapid test administered by a testing provider on site at the event site just prior to entry
    • Medical and religious vaccine exemptions are not accepted in place of vaccine verification or documentation of a negative COVID test
    • For those with disabilities who attest to having completed their vaccination series but are unable to provide proof of vaccination due to a disability, the venue should provide reasonable accommodation (NOTE – this only applies to people with disabilities who have been vaccinated)

The Order does not apply to the following:

  • Children under 12-years of age
  • Outdoor or indoor youth sporting events for elementary, middle school, and high school age participants, and the spectators at these events
  • Outdoor dining
  • Take-out from restaurants, taverns, and bars
  • Indoor dining in buildings that primarily serve non-dining purposes such as in airports, mall food courts, and school cafeterias
  • Funerals
  • Weddings, except those occurring in any of the above public indoor establishments
  • Faith-based gatherings, except those occurring in any of the above public indoor establishments
  • Vote centers sanctioned by King County Elections, held at any location
  • Employees of the covered establishments, unless they are there as patrons or customers; however, vaccinations or testing of employees may be required by their employer or by some other order, law, rule, or proclamation

The Order will be effective for 6 months and then will be re-evaluated at that time, or sooner based on the status and impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in King County. Please be aware that the face covering requirements are still in effect too.

FAQs for the Order can be found here. The press release for the Order can be viewed here.

This email is a summary of a complex topic and should not be relied on. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Sutherland, ksutherland@omwlaw.com.