State Fair in Puyallup to require face coverings at all times

Indoors and outdoors

Face coverings must be worn at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. COURTESY IMAGE

Face masks must be worn at all times at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup during its Sept. 3-26 run (except Tuesdays and Sept. 8).

Pierce County health and fair officials released a joint statement Aug. 31 about the requirements:

The Washington State Fair and the agencies that respond to the health and safety needs of Pierce County residents join together to ask Fair guests to take additional steps to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19. This unprecedented collaboration and additional layers of protection will ensure our community can reduce the risk as the Fair returns to Pierce County this week.

As a condition of opening, Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, director of health at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, will issue a health order that requires masks be worn at all times at the Fair, indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations at an all-time high in Pierce County, this will help prevent and limit the spread of the virus. The Fair will have masks available on-site for anyone who needs one. Guests will not be asked to show proof of vaccination status at the Fair.

Pierce County’s local healthcare systems are at a critical stage right now and do not have capacity for an influx of patients. We are supporting coordination among healthcare and service partners to provide additional personnel on-site throughout the event to help alleviate that stress.

With the support of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Pierce County, the City of Puyallup and Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, the Fair will take these additional steps to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19:

• Test employees for COVID-19 before and during the fair.

• Offer testing for members of the public.

• Offer COVID-19 vaccine daily in two locations at the fair.

• Have 10% fewer rides to allow guests more room to physically distance.

• Have 25% fewer vendors, with dividers between those in the Mattress Firm ShowPlex.

• Provide additional handwashing and sanitizing stations throughout the grounds.

• Alter several processes behind the scenes to reduce group gatherings.

The Fair is an important part of life and vitality in Western Washington. This community gathering helps build economic and social resilience among Pierce County residents and has been a part of our community for more than 120 years. These agencies worked together to develop additional safety measures to ensure that tradition continues.

The Health Department will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases in the community, healthcare capacity, and other measures as the Fair progresses and take additional steps, if needed, to protect public health.

We want everyone in Pierce County to remain safe throughout this historic event.

Sincerely,

Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, Director of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Kent Hojem, CEO, The Washington State Fair

Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive

Julie Door, Puyallup Mayor

Dan Olson, Fire Chief, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue


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