How Will Outdoor Mask Mandates be Enforced for Area Events? (Sports)
As of today, Monday, Sept.13th, the outdoor mask mandate for groups 500 or larger goes into effect in WA state.
UPDATE---see below in story
This isn't just aimed at sports, but any outdoor gathering. Looking at the social calendar, we are past the Benton Franklin Fair, although some other county fairs are gearing up--including the Central WA State Fair in Yakima. There are some local cultural and other events coming up as well in Mid Columbia.
This will most likely affect sporting events, especially high school, in our area, as well as the last week of the Tri-City Dust Devils season, which ends Sunday after their final week-long series vs. Eugene.
We have reached out to the PR-Communications Directors are various area school districts, to determine if there is a specific plan or procedure they will be utilized to determine if a crowd is under or over 500.
Given the popularity of area sports, especially HS football, it's likely all the area games going forward will be affected. Lampson Stadium in Kennewick and Edgar Brown in Pasco both have maximum capacities of 5,300 persons.
Fran Rish in Richland lists its maximum occupancy at 9,000. On any given Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday evening (or afternoon) they're packed especially for rivalry games.
So, if you're planning on attending an HS football game in the Tri-Cities, pretty much count on bringing the mask.
This will also affect upcoming WSU, UW, and Seahawks games as well, and the mandate is considered TFN--at least for now.
We will update specifics once we hear back from area districts.
UPDATE---we did hear back from Robin Chastain of the Kennewick School District, who provided this insight as to what events would likely 'qualify' for the mandate:
"We know that the varsity football games exceed the 500-person mark. Those would be the only gatherings/events."