Hey, youre vaccinated right?
Hey, you're vaccinated right? Svetikd/Getty Images
Pucker up: The CDC says you can regularly flash your face at strangers if you're vaccinated. In a major shift, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that fully vaccinated Americans can go maskless and give up physical distancing in a majority of cases, both indoors and outdoors. In some places, like airplanes and health care settings, masks may continue to be required. Obviously, the key phrase here is fully vaccinated, and guidelines differ between states.

As for Washington state?

Inslee said Washington will also immediately implement the Centers for Disease Control's new mask guidance, which allows fully vaccinated people to go maskless outdoors and in most places indoors, excepting schools, hospitals, and public transit. Those who are fully vaccinated, for instance, can walk into grocery stores without wearing a mask. Business owners retain the right to maintain mask requirements, and they can require customers to show proof of immunization, though. Valid vax proofs include vaccination cards, or digital versions of those cards, which you can find at myir.net.

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Along with that announcement today, Inslee let the state know that...

WE'RE GETTING GIFT CARDS!!!! Those among us who aren't monsters and chose to get vaccinated are probably getting gift cards to local businesses. The state is working out the details. It's no million bucks, but it'll do.



Beyond the gift cards, Inslee also dropped this wee bit of news:

Some more spark notes:

  • Next Tuesday, all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 in the state's "Healthy Washington" reopening plan if they aren't already in Phase 3.

  • From that point on, "most indoor activities" will remain restricted at 50% capacity, but Inslee said we are on track for "a full reopening of our economy by June 30." That means most venues could operate at full capacity. Again, the state's still working out the specific details.

  • Those who are fully vaccinated can enjoy "additional activities with fewer restrictions" effective immediately at spectator events, conferences, live performances, weddings, funeral receptions.

  • The announcement follows "declining" COVID-19 activity. The state selected the June 30 date because that's when the state expects to achieve its desired vaccination rate of 70% for all residents over 16.

  • Even with the economy reopening, Inslee said his state of emergency will remain in effect "because the extraordinary emergency created by this pandemic continues." That should allow him to extend the state's eviction moratorium.

  • Restrictions will clamp down again "if statewide ICU capacity reaches 90% at any point during this emergency," Inslee said.

  • In general, the strategy is "vaccination as opposed to restriction."

    Rich Smith has more here.

    Here's the full presser:

    In-person events are already returning: The KEXP-curated ZooTunes is coming back this summer. The Seattle Opera is returning this fall, along with other arts organizations like the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Crosscut's Margo Vansynghel highlighted that Seattle dance company Whim W’Him has an IRL performance this Saturday, and also how Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar continues to have bands perform every first and third Friday of the month from behind glass. Seattle Times's music writer Michael Rietmulder visited three different types of music performances here. Things are coming back to life. Here are our top recommendations for this week.

    Seattle has better BBQ than Texas: This probably isn't true, but Charles Mudede gets into it.

    Amazon's hiring spree continues: They plan to add another 75,000 warehouse and logistics workers across the US and Canada and are offering new hires an extra $100 hiring bonus if they're already vaccinated. The hiring rush comes after dropping 27,000 employees after the holiday rush.

    Did you miss participating in this year's virtual Sundance Film Festival? Today, the Park City-based fest announced that it'll go hybrid next year, with virtual options alongside its in-person festival. Most digital film fest experiences were underwhelming this past year, but Sundance hit it out of the park, with strict time-based screenings (which helped make the screenings feel like special events), a great design campaign, and an overwhelming amount of Q&As (to mimic the regular, busy fest). Of course, there were no open bars this year, which Mudede was bummed about. Still, we're glad they're pressing on with some more digital offerings.

    Today in "Wow... Republicans are truly pieces of shit": "More than 1.9 million people could see severe cuts in unemployment aid as Republicans seek to curb assistance."

    Let's revisit some history: On June 1, 2020, while Donald Trump was gassing protesters in DC so he could pose for a photo-op next to a Bible, the Seattle Police Department was instigating fights with umbrellas and gassing the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

    On May 12, 2021, (that's yesterday) SPD Chief Diaz announced he'd overrule Seattle's Office of Police Accountability's findings about what went down on June 1, 2020—a move that's somehow within his authority to make—and that he would not discipline the commander who ordered all that tear-gassing and "crowd-controlling," saying circumstances created by someone at a "higher level of command authority" were actually responsible—without, of course, naming the higher-up(s) who created those circumstances. (Maybe it was Trump, who demanded law enforcement and the military "dominate" protesters earlier that day. But really, who knows. We definitely don't know who was responsible last summer!)

    Side-stepping accountability, Diaz repeatedly said the events of June 1 and last summer were "unprecedented," a claim The Stranger's Rich Smith unpacks here. It's another history lesson, one that goes back to 1999:

    The idea that last summer's demonstrations were "unprecedented" is simply ahistorical in a town known partly for its protest of the World Trade Organization in 1999, when SPD also gassed largely peaceful crowds downtown and on Capitol Hill. (Cops also rehearse this little ritual every year on May Day, when they throw blast balls at a bunch of twentysomething anarchists who dress up in black and bust up a Nike store, but I digress.)

    As the Seattle City Council's 2000 Accountability Review Committee (ARC) report shows, the SPD faced a very similar version of the situation they encountered on Capitol Hill on June 1, 2020 back in 1999.

    The report's section on "The Events on Capitol Hill," which lasted for "two chaotic nights" in late fall, remain particularly instructive.

    Keep reading, especially to the investigators' conclusion that, at least in 1999: "It may have been wiser just to let citizens stand in the rain rather than force dispersal with gas and other means."

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    Twenty years later and SPD's still acting brand new.

    Batshit racist Trumper Rep. Marjorie Green verbally assaulted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Capitol building last night because Ocasio-Cortez refused to debate the batshit racist Trumper. Ocasio-Cortez responded that she refuses to be intimidated by anyone who aligns with white supremacists.

    Let's end the day with some Stevie Wonder: It's his 71st year around the sun.

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