Starting Saturday, Clallam and Jefferson counties will require people who want to enter restaurants and bars to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, according to a public health order issued by Dr. Allison Berry, the health officer for both counties.
“Indoor bars and restaurants are known to pose a high risk for COVID-19 transmission, as they encourage unmasking of large groups of people indoors,” reports Dr. Berry. “Our goal is to make these safer places to be and to reduce transmission in our communities, allowing our hospitals to keep functioning and our schools to open more safely this fall.”
Those who are fully vaccinated are considered to have received all the required doses of a vaccine with 14 days passing since the final dose. For the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, two doses are required. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires one dose.
Officials said people will need the following for proof:
“Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include a completed CDC vaccination card, a State Department of Health Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination, a printed copy of a State Department of Health vaccine record, a photograph of any of those documents, or an app-based vaccine passport.”
Those who work in bars and restaurants and continually mask up in a building will not need to provide proof; neither will children younger than 12 who enter restaurants and cannot be vaccinated due to ineligibility.
Officials said according to the most recent outbreak report from the state, there have been 495 COVID-19 outbreaks traced to restaurants and bars in the state as of last month, several of which were in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Health officials believe that the best way to reduce illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths is by being vaccinated.
“Given the ability of the delta variant to spread beyond 6 feet when people are unmasked indoors, we believe that a vaccine requirement will be more effective and less costly than the capacity limitations we saw last year,” Dr. Berry said. “We want to keep businesses open while protecting the public. This is how we do it.”
According to health officials, 94% of people who have been hospitalized and 92% of those who have died from COVID-19 in the state were unvaccinated people.
“With hospitals around our region stretched to the breaking point, we need to do everything we can to keep our communities safe,” Dr. Berry said. “Getting vaccinated with this incredible vaccine, which is safe, effective, free and life-saving, is simply the right thing to do.”
For more information on the health order, click here.
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