No, this isn't usually a day we'd have a Seahawks mailbag, but after publishing this week's regular mailbag, we received a lot of questions from fans with concerns about requirements to attend games following Tuesday's announcement that all fans will be required to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the game. You can find answers to a lot of questions at www.seahawks.com/healthandsafety, but to answer a few of the specific questions that were submitted over the past couple of days, let's open up the mailbag for an unscheduled, vaccine/negative test-requirement mailbag:
Anna Brophy from Redmond, Oregon asks, "Can the COVID test be an at-home test? I'm vaccinated but I'm taking my son who is not?"
A: Depending on how old your son is, he may not need a test at all—children under 12 do not require a negative test for entry, though if they're 5 or older they do need to wear a mask. If your son is 12 or older, he will need a negative test taken within 72 hours, and an at-home test will not be accepted unless they meet CDC guidelines including real-time, remote supervision and identity confirmation. If you'll be in Washington within the 72-hour window you can find information on how to find a test location at the Washington State Department of Health website. For testing information in Oregon, go to govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-testing.
Several fans have asked what specific proof of vaccination or negative test is required for entry.
A: Your vaccination card must have the following:
- Site where the vaccine was administered
- Date of each vaccine dose
For a negative COVID-19 test:
- Site where test was administered
- Date of test (must be within 72 hours of kickoff)
- Result of test (negative)
Either a physical or digital copy of your vaccination card or negative test result will suffice. If you were vaccinated in Washington and can't find your card, you can retrieve your card at the Washington Department of Health website.
Fans can also upload their vaccine card to CLEAR Health Pass in the CLEAR app.
Scott Wilson from Vancleave, Mississippi asks, "We're traveling to Seattle for the first time on September 17 and plan to go to the game on the 19th. I will take my first COVID test Tuesday before the flight. In order to go the game, how far in advance to I need a test?"
A: Hi Scott, first off, I love the dedication of coming all the way from Mississippi for a game. Hope you appreciate good guard play, as both of the Seahawks' starting guards, Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis, are from Mississippi. But anyway, I digress. Getting tested before leaving is the smart and responsible thing to do, so good on you for that, but unfortunately a test on Tuesday won't suffice for getting into the game, so you'll need to get tested again withing the 72-hour window, which in the case of the game in question would mean getting tested after 1:25 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, September 16. As mentioned above, you can find a test location at the Washington State Department of Health website if you want to get tested after you leave, or you could get tested before leaving so long as it's after 1:25 p.m. PT on Thursday. If you're staying in the Seattle area, here's another resource for finding locations. I've personally tested and/or had my kids tested at a couple of these and they're fast and efficient, and usually turn around results within 12-24 hours (though read all the fine print and don't hold me to that timeframe; I'm just a writer, not a health official).
Ben Russell from Seattle asks, "With the new vaccine or negative test requirement, how early should one show up to make it through the gates before kickoff? I can't imagine sorting through 60,000 people's paperwork will be timely."
A: This is a reasonable concern, Ben, and I'd suggest fans who are able to show up early and enjoy the pregame concert with Ayron Jones and Macklemore, and perhaps enjoy some of the food and beverage pregame deals (there will be hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, candy, fries, beer and wine priced between $3-7). Consider this your official, team-issued permission slip to (responsibly) drink earlier in the day than you might have otherwise in the name of making gameday go more smoothly for everyone.
As for what getting into the stadium will look like, fans will first have their vaccination or negative test verified at a checkpoint before reaching the gates, then after being verified fans will go through security and have their mobile tickets scanned as usual. Fans should have their paperwork or digital copy open and ready in order to make things go as smoothly as possible.
Sheryl Haase from Vancouver, Washington asks, "Are all members of the Seahawks vaccinated?"
A: If you're referring to players, then the answer is that currently all but two players are vaccinated, according to Pete Carroll. And vaccinated or not, Seahawks players have been testing daily, which is more frequent than is required by the league, so regardless of vaccination status, players would meet the criteria fans are being held to for entry into the stadium.
As for Lumen Field staff, all employees must be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative test prior to working onsite.