Green Heron / Carlo Parravano / Seattle Audubon – Seattle Times Photo Contest
Today the State of Washington officially “reopens.” As the birds and people of our area breathe a collective sigh of relief after our unprecedented heatwave, I’m happy to announce that we can also relax some of our pandemic restrictions. We continue to follow Seattle—King County Public Health officials’ recommendations for our area and we trust the research showing that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Therefore, effective July 1, the following modifications for our activities will go into effect:
- Seattle Audubon will no longer require fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks or physically distance when participating in most outdoor activities.
- Nature Camp staff and participants will continue masking.
- All July field trips will continue masking, unless approved by both the trip leader(s) and staff, as they were previously scheduled before this announcement was made.
- Community science volunteers should stand by for additional, specific guidance for their project(s) from staff this week.
- Carpools may also resume at participants’ discretion, for vaccinated individuals only.
- Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals will be required to continue masking and are still prohibited from carpooling at this time.
- Vaccination status for outdoor activities will be determined through a self-reported honor system.
As we make this announcement, we recognize that a significant number of our community members—specifically families with children under 12 and others who are high-risk or medically exempt from vaccination—remain vulnerable. Others are simply not ready to shed their masks, for a variety of personal reasons and justifiable concerns, even if they are fully vaccinated.
For these reasons, Seattle Audubon will continue to require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks while in indoor public places (such as Nature Shop retail areas) until further notice. This ensures that everyone will continue to feel safe and welcome at our programs.
Staff and volunteers engaged in indoor activities will have the opportunity to voluntarily verify their vaccination status in order to go unmasked in non-public, indoor spaces (such as the Seattle Audubon staff offices and conference rooms). Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to verify the vaccination status of a wider group of volunteers at this time.
Seattle Audubon encourages vaccinated individuals who wish to continue masking to do so. We urge everyone in our community to remain compassionate towards one another during these exceptional times. No one should be judged on the basis of their preferred masking behavior or whether they choose to participate in a carpool, as long as it aligns with Seattle Audubon’s guidelines.
We look forward to further easing these restrictions in the months ahead, as more people are vaccinated and community transmission continues to decline. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.
Still have unanswered questions? My virtual door is always open.
Phone: (206) 523-8243 ext. 105