OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – As of Monday, anyone attending an outdoor event with 500 or more people in Washington state is required to wear a face-covering, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the mandate last week.
Though outdoor events are considered to be lower risk for COVID-19 transmission, five outdoor super-spreader events infected more than 500 people at concerts, fairs and rodeos across Washington.
The outdoor mask mandate comes as the state’s hospitalization rates are at the highest level ever during the pandemic.
The Washington State Department of Health is encouraging hospitals to “limit and curtail elective procedures” in order to maintain enough capacity.