Starting Friday, June 26, 2020, all people in Washington state are required to wear a face covering when you are in any indoor or outdoor public area. This can be a cloth face mask, several layers of fabric tied behind the head, bandana, or scarf. It needs to cover your mouth and nose. Children under 2 years old should not wear a face covering. People who are unable to wear a face covering because of medical conditions are not required to. You can take off your mask to eat, drink, or communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03: Face Coverings-Statewide (PDF)
There are three public orders that combine to emphasize the importance of wearing masks and to encourage people to wear them in public places. When more Washingtonians wear face coverings in public the combined effect can greatly reduce transmission of COVID-19 from person to person, saving lives and helping us open the economy safely and wisely.
The workplace order: Washington employers are required to ensure workers are wearing face coverings at work in almost all situations. Employers must provide face coverings if workers do not have them; employers are responsible to comply with this order, and the Department of Labor & Industries enforces it.
The general public order: This order from the secretary of health requires Washingtonians, with some exceptions, to wear face coverings in public spaces (indoors in most situations, and outdoors when proper physical distancing can’t be maintained). People are individually responsible to comply with this order.
The governor’s order for customers in businesses: This order from Governor Jay Inslee says businesses cannot allow customers to enter their premises without face coverings. Other accommodations can be offered for customers who cannot wear masks. Businesses, with the help of local law enforcement if needed, are responsible to comply with this order.
- Read the Department of Health (DOH) guidance on cloth face coverings (PDF)
Washington State Department of Health
- "The Science of Masks" Research is continuing, and we’re still learning more, but here’s what the science is telling us
Community Face Mask Program
- Check with the Department of Emergency Management for more info : Volunteer: How to Help
Join the Washington Mask Challenge. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor has partnered with the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and Serve Washington to organize a statewide homemade mask-making initiative to encourage the general public to make, wear, and donate cloth masks. Visit www.wamaskchallenge.org for information.
Top 10 Reasons to Wear a Mask Washington State Department of Health
Jefferson County Public Health Press Release: Frequency Asked Questions Regarding Masking to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission (released June 9, 2020)
Washington State Department of Health News Release: Department of Health highlights importance of face coverings, shares additional information (released June 8, 2020)
Jefferson County Public Health Press Release: 05/28/2020 2020-2 Directive on Masking (released May 28, 2020)