Masks mandated for Washington State Fair visitors

Visitors to the largest fair in the Pacific Northwest will be required to wear masks at all times.

Associated Press

PUYALLUP — Visitors to the Washington State Fair will be required to wear masks at all times as Pierce County works to stem “unprecedented levels” of COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, health director for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, announced a health order Tuesday making the mask requirement a condition of the fair’s operation, KING-TV reported.

The Washington State Fair — the largest fair in the Pacific Northwest — happens at the Puyallup Fairgrounds from Sept. 3-26.

Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors at all times regardless of vaccination status, according to the order. Exceptions include when eating or drinking, when it is essential to communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and when it’s necessary to confirm someone’s identity.

The order applies to attendees age 5 and up. People who have a medical condition or disability where a mask could obstruct breathing are also exempt.

The fair also plans to offer public COVID-19 testing, vaccinations at two locations, reduce vendors by 25%, and provide additional handwashing and sanitizing stations. The fair will test employees for COVID-19 before and during the fair.

The masking requirement came one day after two hospital leaders said during a Washington State Hospital Association briefing that the Washington State Fair should be canceled due to the stress it would inevitably put on hospitals.

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