Masks required for every Washingtonian starting Friday

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Beginning June 26, every Washingtonian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, will be legally required to wear a face covering

Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced on Tuesday a statewide mandatory face covering order that will take effect Friday, June 26.

The order comes after a Saturday announcement of a mandatory mask proclamation for Yakima County starting this week. The order was in response to reports of increasing case counts and a potential overwhelming of the county’s health care system.

After subsequent reports of cases increasing in additional counties, the governor and Wiesman extended the face covering requirement today to include the entire state of Washington.

“As necessary economic activity increases and more people are out in their communities, it is imperative that we adopt further measures to protect all of us,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “Until a vaccine or cure is developed, this is going to be one of our best defenses.”

Wearing a mask is one of the most effective things people can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Recent models suggest that the incidence of COVID-19 cases can be reduced if the majority of the population are wearing masks. This correlation has been seen in other countries that have been able to lower the curve through mask usage.

As with previous orders, there will be specific exemptions for those who may be adversely impacted by wearing a facial covering. These exemptions include those with certain medical conditions and children under the age of two, who should not wear a face covering. Children aged two, three and four are encouraged, but not required, to wear a face covering in public with the assistance and supervision of an adult.

In addition, individuals may remove face coverings under certain circumstances, including while eating or drinking at a restaurant; while communicating with a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing; and while outdoors in public areas, provided that a distance of six feet is maintained from people who are not members of their household.

Read the full story on the Governor's Medium page



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