Video: Press briefing discussing outdoor mask order and COVID’s impact on local healthcare system

Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin held a special press briefing on Thursday, September 2, to discuss his Local Health Officer Order requiring masks at outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people and strongly encouraging masks in other outdoor settings.

Although the risk for spread of COVID-19 is much lower outdoors than indoors, the risk is higher at large, crowded, outdoor events where distancing cannot be maintained, where unvaccinated people are present, and where there is loud talking, shouting, singing, or aerobic exercise.  Outbreaks have been reported from around the country associated with outdoor events.

Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin

Dr. Steve Mitchell, Director of Emergency Services for Harborview Medical Center, joined Dr. Duchin to discuss COVID-related overcrowding in local hospitals.

The delta variant has changed everything and, for healthcare, these are now the most difficult days, the most challenging days, that we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. These are the darkest days, if you will, for healthcare. And you can help. You can open up our beds. If you get vaccinated today and if you begin wearing a mask, I will likely never meet you and you will help open up our beds, as we desperately need. Please, open our beds. We need it because all of our hospitals are full.

Dr. Steve Mitchell, Director of emergency services at Harborview Medical Center

Originally published September 2, 2021