Seattle, King County to end vaccine verification policy March 1

King County announced that it will end the county's vaccine verification policy to enter restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms on March 1.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell made the announcement earlier this month.

Constantine said that new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are decreasing.

More than 87% of King County residents ages 12 years and older are fully vaccinated, and vaccination and booster rates continue to increase.

"While King County is lifting this requirement, businesses and organizations may still choose to continue requiring vaccines to protect themselves, their employees, their customers," Constantine said. "We support them in that choice."

King County’s vaccine requirement has been in effect since October 2021.

People 12 years old and up must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of entry.

Washington, Oregon, California to end mask mandates in schools, most public places by March 12

Washington, Oregon and California will drop masking requirements for schools and most public places on March 12, the states jointly announced on Monday.

This applied to restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other entertainment venues. The mandate also applies to outdoor events with more than 500 people in attendance.

Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell also announced that they will begin, gradually, calling back to the office the thousands of county and city employees who have been working remotely for nearly two years. King County has an estimated 7,000 employees who have been working remotely, and Seattle has about 5,000.

The mask mandate is still in effect until at least March 12-- the date Gov. Jay Inslee set for the mandate to be lifted. However, King County and Seattle could still have their own mandates past the state lift. 

Businesses in King County can also still ask for vaccine verification at their discretion, but it's not mandated. 

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