State Prohibits Events with More Than 250 People; Local Health Officer Restricts Smaller Events

Release Date: March 11, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee announced new community strategies and social distancing plans Wednesday at a news conference in Seattle to minimize COVID-19 exposure, particularly in counties hit hardest by the virus.

Starting today, events that take place in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties with more than 250 people are prohibited by the state. This order applies to gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational activities. These include but are not limited to: community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers and similar activities.

“This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Inslee said. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

The Local Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County issued additional measures:

1. All events of 250 people or more are prohibited.
2. Events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited unless event organizers take the following steps to minimize risk:
 Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees);
 Social distancing recommendations must be met (I.e., limit contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer);
 Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic; and
 Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees.
 Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently)
For the purposes of this Order, an “event” is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.