King County Public Health - New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19

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On March 16, 2020, in addition to Governor Jay Inslee’s Emergency Proclamation that prohibits large gatherings of more than 50 people, Public Health—Seattle & King County also issued a Health Officer Order to minimize the health impacts of COVID-19.

The order, issued by Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health – Seattle & King County, prohibits large gatherings of more than 50 people. In addition, the local order prohibits events of less than 50 people, unless event organizers take steps to minimize risk.

Both the Governor's proclamation and the Public Health order were issued March 16, 2020, effective immediately.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Health Officer Jeff Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.

  • All events with more than 50 people are prohibited until further notice
  • All events with fewer than 50 people are discouraged and prohibited unless organizers observe COVID-19 prevention measure.
  • All bars, dance clubs, fitness and health clubs, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other social and recreational establishments closed until at least March 31.
  • All restaurants and food service establishments cannot provide dining room service. They may remain open for drive-through, takeout and delivery.
  • All other retail – including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies – should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.

Under the order, events include: community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

Our guidance documents are in the process of being updated to reflect the new Local Health Order. Please check back frequently.

For more information visit Public Health - Seattle & King County.
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