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COVID-19 cases tied to Gorge music festival rise to over 200

Aug. 16, 2021 Updated Mon., Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:16 p.m.

The Watershed Country Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre on July 31 in George, Wash.  (Don Chareunsy/The Spokesman-Review)
The Watershed Country Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre on July 31 in George, Wash. (Don Chareunsy/The Spokesman-Review)

GEORGE, Wash. – Public health officials said Monday that more than 200 COVID-19 cases are linked to a three-day country music festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George that took place about two weeks ago.

Grant County public health officials said on Monday that they are aware of 210 people with COVID-19 linked to the Watershed Music Festival, The Seattle Times reported.

The Grant County Health District on Friday had said there were more than 160 cases. Officials are continuing to urge people who attended the event to self-quarantine and seek testing. The cases are linked to residents in nearly a dozen Washington state counties and one Oregon resident.

More than 25,000 fans packed the Gorge for Watershed, which marked the state’s biggest concert since the pandemic began in 2020.

Watershed festival organizers issued a statement Friday saying that they had “worked to ensure all recommended guidelines from local officials were followed.”

Live Nation, which controls the Gorge, said Friday it would require proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result starting Oct. 4.

However, several artists and festival organizers with events planned at the Gorge are instituting policies. Bass Canyon electronic music festival, set for Aug. 20-22, is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, as is Phish, playing Aug. 27-29.

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