OLYMPIA, Wash. – Sports venues and other entertainment venues that add “vaccinated sections” to their seats can increase capacity by thousands, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office confirmed on Monday.
According to the updated guidelines, field sites can add vaccinated sections and increase their capacity to 50% or up to 22,000 people (whichever is lower), but the number of unvaccinated people who attend is still capped at 9,000. This means that up to 13,000 additional vaccinated supporters will be able to attend the stadiums with the capacity to do so.
The guidelines allow vaccinated sections to be seated at full capacity with no 6 feet of distance between groups. Suites can also operate at 100% capacity if all clients show proof of vaccination.
Indoor facilities can add vaccinated sections until their total capacity is 50% or 2000 people, whichever is less.
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Without vaccinated sections, Phase 2 indoor spectator events are limited to 200 people, or 300 for venues over 100,000 square feet. In phase 3, indoor events without vaccination sections are limited to 400 people, or 600 for sites larger than 100,000 square feet.
Newly vaccinated sections will only be permitted in Phases 2 and 3 of the state’s pandemic reopening plan if the following conditions are met, according to the governor’s website:
- Vaccinated sections are only authorized in facilities with individual entrances and exits, designated, seated and controlled.
- Vaccinated sections should be reserved for people 16 years of age and over who are fully vaccinated.
- A client vaccinated against COVID-19 with a two-dose mRNA vaccine (like Moderna and Pfizer), or a single-dose vaccine (like Johnson & Johnson), is considered “fully immunized” two weeks after the last dose of vaccine (the second dose for a two-dose regimen, or the single dose for a single-dose regimen). Documentation of immunization status should be available upon request at all times.
- Children aged 2 to 15 who can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of admission are also admitted to the vaccinated section. Children under 2 do not need to prove a negative COVID-19 test to be admitted to the vaccinated section when accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
- No adult who has not yet been fully vaccinated, including adults undergoing vaccination, will be admitted to the vaccinated only section, even with a negative test.
- All ticket holders for a fully vaccinated section only must enter the facility through a separate line from unvaccinated ticket holders, where they will be required to show proof of vaccination (if 16 years or older) or a COVID-19 negative. test (if between 2 and 15 years old).
- Anyone with a ticket for a fully vaccinated section only who is 16 years of age or older and cannot provide the required verification of full vaccination, or between 2 and 15 years of age and cannot provide the required proof of a negative test in 72 hours of admission, will not be allowed to enter the vaccinated section. Any symptomatic person, even fully vaccinated, will not be allowed to enter the vaccinated section.
- There should be at least 6 feet of distance between fully vaccinated sections only and any other section of the site.
- Face covers should be worn in fully immunized sections only, except when actively eating and / or drinking in the ticketed seat.
The governor’s office declares that the following are acceptable as proof of vaccination:
- Vaccination card (which includes the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccine provided and the date of the last dose given)
- A photo of a vaccination record as a separate document
- A photo of the participant’s immunization card stored on a phone or electronic device
- Immunization documentation from an electronic health record from a health care provider or from a state immunization information system record. Self-reported immunization records that are not verified by a health care provider cannot be accepted.
The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result:
- Printed document (from test supplier or laboratory)
- An email or text message displayed on a phone or electronic device from the test provider or lab. The information provided should include the name of the person tested, the type of test performed and the date of the negative result of the test (for the PCR test, the date of the negative result must be earlier than 72 hours; for the antigen test, the date of the negative result must be earlier than 24 hours). hours). Self-reported negative test results that are not from a test provider, laboratory, or healthcare provider cannot be accepted.
Religious and faith-based organizations are also allowed to add vaccinated sections to their headquarters. It will also increase their capacity. Click here for updated guidelines.
The news comes as some of the state’s largest counties – King and Snohomish – prepare for a possible return to Phase 2, which would force businesses and churches to reduce their indoor gathering capacity by 50% to 25%. Professional sporting events can still operate under Phase 3 regulations, even if the county is moved back to Phase 2.
The state will announce this week which counties need to be rolled back to Phase 2 – or even Phase 1 – of Inslee’s plan to reopen after an assessment of public health safety benchmarks, though the governor can update the measures and not require more counties to increase restrictions.
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