WENATCHEE — The state and some local businesses are implementing new guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Thursday that outdoor events with 500 or more people in attendance will require face coverings regardless of vaccination status starting on Sept. 13.
The governor announced the new masking rules at a Thursday press conference. It follows the statewide indoor masking requirement that was renewed on Aug. 19.
The board of directors for the Numerica Performing Arts Center also announced Thursday that all of their indoor events would require attendees to show proof of being fully vaccinated or results of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event.
Their first indoor event since March 2020, The Apple Blossom Musical “Mamma Mia!,” opens on Sept. 15 and will enforce this new requirement.
The new protocol is meant to keep patrons, performers, staff and volunteers safe during live performances, according to a Numerica Performing Arts Center news release. Masks are also required to be worn at all times while not actively eating or drinking.
Children under the age of 12 are not eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Audience members 12 and younger will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
“It is this kind of firm but reasonable public health measure that is going to keep our theaters, businesses and economy open while also keeping the community safe and healthy during extremely high rates of the COVID-19 delta variant transmission and hospitalizations,” Luke Davies, Chelan-Douglas Health administrator, said in the news release.
Davies also said he hopes the community will support the decisions local businesses make to keep the community safe.
“We’re not going to mandate this from the health district,” Davies said. “This is something businesses can choose to do if they want to, and they will have our full support if they choose to do those types of interventions to try to help stop the spread.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.