Gov. Inslee, as part of his 'official' declaration that as of this week all of Washington state is in Phase 3 (which we already knew) as of May 18,  released some curious add-ons.

Inslee's proclamation states fully vaccinated persons do not have to wear a mask inside or outside, unless they are going into a medical facility, school, correctional facility (jail) public transportation or a homeless shelter. This mirrors CDC guidelines.

It also states employers must obtain proof of vaccination or a "self-attestation" from a worker that they've been vaccinated before they can ditch a mask at a worksite.

And finally, the most curious part.

Inslee says businesses may institute what he called an "honor system" where a business can choose to assume of somebody comes into their establishment without a mask they've already been vaccinated.   

From the information release from Inslee's office, verbatim:

"The proclamation clarifies that business owners may adopt an “honor system” and may assume that any customer who is not wearing a face covering has been fully vaccinated."

He also said a business can choose to still require people to wear masks inside their establishment, and that local authorities cannot prohibit businesses from requiring their clientele not have to wear a face covering.

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The honor system idea is curious. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize people will take full advantage of that one. IF a business chooses to assume mask-less people who enter have been vaccinated then can they ask if the person is?

Nothing in Inslee's proclamation addresses that. From numerous reading of various legal articles, it appears it does NOT violate HIPPA laws to ask someone if they've been vaccinated.

However, it is a slippery slope when it comes to demanding to see their card. Once again, businesses are left in the middle here. If you 'relax' your mask policy (the honor system) you will undoubtedly gain more patrons.

But if you start asking to see cards and ask about vaccination status you run the risk of alienating people. Word does get around, and people have changed their shopping habits due to how they have been treated on this topic.


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