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Events and large gatherings

We are not at the peak of this outbreak. That is why early, comprehensive, and sustained social distancing is critical. We know that this will have impacts on the people of Snohomish County, but we urge you to respect these essential measures. They have been carefully considered with the goal of keeping people safe and healthy.

Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, issued an order on March 11 that all events with more than 250 people are prohibited in Snohomish County. Washington Governor Jay Inslee also announced that gatherings of 250 people or more are being prohibited in Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties at least through the end of March.

Under the order, events with fewer than 250 attendees also are prohibited unless organizers take steps to minimize risk. Those steps include:

  • Older adults or people with underlying conditions are encouraged not to attend.
  • Social distancing recommendations are in place. People should avoid being within 6 feet of each other for longer than momentary or minimal contact.
  • Employees are screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and are excluded if symptomatic.
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation is readily available to attendees and employees.
  • Environmental cleaning guidelines from the CDC are followed, including more cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces at least daily.

Events that are subject to this order include gatherings for business, social, spiritual, or recreational activities. This does include community, civic, public, faith-based, or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. It does not include normal school, health care facilities, or other public safety and critical infrastructure operations.

For non-essential smaller events, this is a good time to consider canceling or postponing.

In any event or group situation, the larger the group, the higher the risk. The closer the contact to others, the higher the risk.