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Courthouse Journal

The Courthouse Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Association of County Officials. Along with a newsletter to members, WACO also hosts the Courthouse Journal blog.

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Aug 24

Addressing COVID-19 Concerns for WACO Annual Conference

Posted on August 24, 2021 at 12:18 PM by Melanie Terry

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


On Monday, August 23rd a mask mandate for indoor spaces regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status went into effect for the entire state. The mandate is in response to surging COVID-19 case numbers caused by the Delta Variant. 

This new development brings up questions about how WACO plans to host an in-person conference in October. First and foremost, the health of our conference attendees is of the utmost importance, and WACO plans to follow all state and county mandates applying to in-person meetings. If the mandates in October allow WACO to host an in-person conference safely, we plan to do so. 

WACO works to ensure that all attendees feel safe and welcomed at our Annual Conference, and we plan to incorporate the following protocols during our in-person conference. Please note these protocols are based off the current mandates and could change by October: 

  • WACO events will follow all state and county mandates applying to in-person meetings. At this time that means all attendees (regardless of vaccination status) will be required to wear a mask when indoors. WACO will provide masks to conference attendees. 
  • If the weather permits, the Presidents’ Reception will be held outdoors in the Hotel Murano’s courtyard to create a welcoming and safe environment. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance of all meeting spaces. 
  • All banquet meals will be served plated and covered. 
  • For all meals there will be a “to-go” option for attendees who wish to take meals out of the general seating area. There will also be outdoor seating available to those who wish to eat with other attendees but in an outdoor area. 
  • Fewer people will be seated per-table to allow more space between each person. 
  • Meetings will be held in larger rooms to allow attendees to social distance. 
  • WACO will offer red, yellow, and green stickers for attendees to wear (if they like) to indicate their comfortability level with personal engagement and space. 

Again, WACO aims to create a safe environment for all comfortability levels during our Annual Conference. If you have any questions, please reach out Member Services Manager, Melanie Terry via e-mail at, melanie@countyofficials.org