Coronavirus: Ban on gatherings in three counties

Effective immediately and lasting through the month of March 2020, events taking place in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties with more than 250 people in attendance are prohibited, according to Gov. Jay Inslee. The ban is to help contain Washington state’s coronavirus outbreak. The ban 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 ban may be extended.

Additionally on March 11, 2020, Seattle and King County announced a ban on events with fewer than 250 people attending, unless the following steps have been ensured by the event’s organizers:

  • Older and vulnerable individuals have been encouraged not to attend
  • Recommendations for social distancing and limiting close contact are met
  • Employees or volunteers leading an event are screened for symptoms each day
  • Proper hand washing, sanitation and cleaning are readily available
  • Environmental cleaning guidelines are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily or more frequently)

Snohomish county has issued a similar restriction on events with fewer than 250 attendees. These restrictions are:

  • Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-10 are encouraged not to attend (including employees).
  • Social distancing recommendations must be met (i.e., people staying 6 feet from each other, aside from momentary and minimal contact at closer distances when absolutely necessary)
  • Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees
  • Environmental cleaning guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily or more frequently).

Official sources say more information will be “forthcoming.” An “event” is defined as 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.

Keep up with all of the updates at our Coronavirus Toolkit.