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Vaccination mandate in King County, Seattle starts October 25

Lalaine Ignao | TFC News Seattle, Washington

Posted at Sep 30 2021 08:34 PM

Starting October 25, Washington state's King County will be requiring proof of vaccination for people to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, and non essential businesses. A negative Covid-19 test from within 72 hours will also be accepted. Only children under 12 are exempted from the mandate.

Filipino-American business owners in the county expressed mixed reactions to the said directive. Some, like Max Heigh, a Filipino business owner in the area, think it's necessary to stay safe amid the pandemic.

“It's been a challenging time. We don't want to keep going backwards so if we have to take it to this level, then that's what we need to do,” Heigh said.  

This mandate comes as Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise in King's County.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan hopes that the new order will make public spaces safer for everyone while slowing the spread of infections.

But not everyone is for the new mandate.

For Chris Lacayan, another Filipino business owner, he thinks the mandate is too much. “A lot of people just want to go out, go on with their lives. But to me, I think starting the vaccine cards, I think that's a little bit above, over, over the fence there.”  

The Fil-Am-owned Knee High Stocking and Jeepney, has already implemented its own vaccine mandate since August.

For Pamela Carpio, the owner of Knee High Stocking and Jeepney, she thinks that it is the right thing to do. “We made that call on our own and we think  it's absolutely the right thing to do, and we're prepared to stand behind that. There's just no way around it. We're a very small establishment, old, old building, not crazy ventilation. So whoever comes in here has to be vaccinated.”

Smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or fewer do not need to implement the new order until December 6 of this year. But the overall mandate is temporary and will be re-evaluated for a possible extension in April 2022.