Proof of vaccination or a negative test will now be required for residents, workers, or visitors to King County before they can enter most outdoor events and indoor establishments. The announcement came down yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 16) from Seattle & King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin and Seattle Mayor, Jenny Durkan.

The mandate will go into effect on October 25, 2021. “…a mandate is the best to limit spread, help businesses stay open, & keep people safe,” said Durkan on Twitter. “We must act boldly now for a brighter tomorrow.” The mandate will require all residents of King County to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours to enter outdoor events >500 people, indoor recreation and entertainment establishments, and most indoor restaurants and bars.

A King County resident who asked to remain anonymous is excited about the announcement. “We have seen that this has helped other major cities within the United States lower their COVID cases and I think this will help with ours in our community,” said the resident. “I choose to trust science, not my second cousin on Facebook.”

The resident works with children on a day-to-day basis. “If you are choosing to not get the vaccine that millions have had because you still need to do your own research or what have you, now is that time.”

Everett Mayor, Cassie Franklin had no comment when asked about the situation. However, Congressman Rick Larsen’s Communications Director emphasized that although t’s, not Larson’s position to take a stance on the announcement, Larsen believes any and everyone who is eligible to take the vaccine should get it.  Communications Director. Joseph Tutino expressed that Rep. Larsen also wants to thank the over 473,000 vaccinated residents in Snohomish County who have done their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

King County Executive, Dow Constantine believes that the county is at a critical point in the pandemic. “with the high levels of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and no certainty as to what will follow the Delta variant. Vaccination is our best shield against this deadly virus,” said Constantine. The County Executive believes that since 85% of residents in King County have received at least their first vaccine dose, the vaccine verification will help keep people safe and keep businesses open.

Dr. Duchin clearly emphasized that our COVID-19 response must continue to adapt to the difficult and changing reality of the pandemic. “King County’s vaccine verification program will prevent infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, safeguard our healthcare system, and provide safer spaces for the public and for workers,” said Dr. Duchin.

With the Seahawks, Kraken, Mariners, Sounders, UW, and WSU all having similar requirements, it’s no surprise that something like this has happened.

Locally, this move could cause other communities to follow in King County’s footsteps. This is an ongoing story and will be updated as we learn more.

Daniel Albert is an Award-Winning journalist majoring in Integrated Strategic Communications at Washington State University.