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Spokane County Fair responds to photos of apparent indoor vendors, guests without masks

Masks are currently required indoors in Washington state and the outdoor mask mandate for large events goes into effect on Sept. 13.
Credit: Kevin Humphrey

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — A patron of the Spokane Interstate Fair expressed concerns this weekend as some indoor vendors and fairgoers reportedly did not wear masks. 

Kevin Humphrey, a fair regular, attended the fair Saturday afternoon and said he noticed the lack of masks on various families and vendors around the indoor facilities at the fair. 

Washington state's indoor mask mandate went into effect on Monday, Aug. 23. The Washington State Department of Health declared that masks are required for everyone over the age of five in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. Masks are recommended in outdoor settings but will soon be required for large events of 500 people or more on Monday, Sept.13.

Humphrey claims he talked to fair administrators about the lack of masks around the indoor facilities. Staff said guests were told to wear masks when entering the fair and they would not monitor the mask policy, Humphrey claimed. 

Credit: Kevin Humphrey

In response to the photos, Spokane Interstate Fair Director Erin Gurtel wrote, “The Spokane Fair and Expo Center staff is communicating with all vendors in writing daily, along with verbal announcements over the Fairgrounds sound system multiple times a day. All of the vendors have been made aware of the requirement to wear masks indoors and starting tomorrow, September 13th we will be requiring this indoors and outdoors."

The fair has also created numerous signs to post all over the grounds to communicate the new requirement of outdoor masks, Gurtel said. The fair's team is also doing it best to communicate the requirement and make sure it is "being adhered to," she added.