Washington

Rantz: Masks mandatory at outdoor Seattle market despite 70% vaccination rate

Seattle experienced beautiful weather for South Lake Union’s Saturday Market this past weekend. But you couldn’t enter without a mask thanks to ludicrous county rules.

Though food and beverage were served, and it’s an outdoor market, the event’s organizers mandated that attendees wear masks at all times because of ridiculous county rules. You could enter in a mask, purchase a gyro, then eat it sans mask one foot away from the entrance outside of the event. What sense does that make? As much as wearing masks outdoors.

None of these rules are backed by science. If we don’t push back, these ridiculous rules will continue and we’ll never go back to normal.

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Masks for an outdoor market? Thank the county for that

Seattle became the first big city to reach 70% vaccination rate. We are supposed to getting back to normal. But little has changed so far.

Outdoor COVID transmission, under even the lowest vaccination rate, is nearly impossible. It’s so rare, neither the state nor the county even tracks it. Yet to go to an outdoor market where food is served, the county believes you need to wear a mask to be protected from COVID.

One of the market’s organizers tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that farmer’s markets are caught in a “grey area” due to potential crowds. He says it’s his understanding of the rules that “farmers markets are still required to maintain masks inside the footprint.” And he hopes that the rules are soon amended to make masks optional.

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It’s become a farce

The state is set to reopen — whatever that ends up meaning — at the end of the month.

But there’s no reason to wait that long. Indeed, like much of what Governor Jay Inslee has decided, his reopening plan lacks logic. He says if the state hits 70% vaccination rate before June 30, we can open sooner. If not? We’ll still reopen on the 30th. But if the reopening plan isn’t contingent on hitting a number, then why aren’t we reopening now? If it’s safe to reopen at, say, 65% vaccination rate on the 30th, why isn’t it safe to open at that rate now? It makes no sense.

And in the meantime, there’s certainly no reason to wear masks outside. In fact, there’s no reason for vaccinated Washingtonians to wear a mask, period.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook



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