March 9, 2022
Contact: Bonnie Obremski, COVID-19 Communications Specialist for Jefferson County Public Health: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish Translation of Press Release
Jefferson County Public Health recommends mask-wearing, if not required
JEFFERSON COUNTY—Mask-wearing in indoor, public places is still recommended as the safest course of action, even as the county health order requiring masking lifts on March 11 at 11:59 p.m.
“The two-week COVID-19 case rate continues to be high,” Dr. Allison Berry, Jefferson County Health Officer, said. “Wearing a mask when the risk of transmission is high is an act of community. It offers protection not just for yourself but for those vulnerable members of our society around you. Let’s keep practicing the care and compassion for our neighbors that has gotten us this far in the pandemic.”
A new gauge graphic on the Jefferson County Public Health website is designed to help the public know when wearing a mask in indoor, public places is recommended. The gauge is located at the top of the case information page at the following link: https://jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/1466/Case-Information
As of today, the gauge needle points to red, indicating transmission risk is high and masks are recommended. A “high” case rate means it is greater than 100 cases per 100,000 residents. The two-week case rate is currently 385 per 100,000.
When the case rate is below 100 per 100,000, it will be safer for lower-risk populations to unmask in indoor spaces. Those at high risk of severe illness, or those with household members at high risk, should wait until that rate falls below 50.
Case rates are a basic measure of disease frequency. The counties in Washington State all use the same formula in order to make it easy to compare rates with one another. That kind of rate comparison is standard practice. To calculate a two-week case rate, one divides the number of cases that occur in a two-week period by the number of people in a county. (Jefferson County’s population is 32,190). That quotient is then multiplied by 100,000 to see what that figure would be if all counties had the same population of 100,000.
Even after March 11, masking will still be legally required for staff and visitors in the following high-risk areas:
- Healthcare and medical facilities
- Long-term care settings
- Public transit, taxis, and rideshare vehicles
- Correctional facilities
- Private businesses and local governments that want to require masks for their employees, customers or residents
Private businesses can still require masks or proof of vaccination if they choose. Many individuals will choose to continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons. The Jefferson County Public Health staff encourages kindness and compassion for one another during these shifts.
For a printable “masking recommended” door sign, click here. Or, contact Jefferson County Public Health at (360) 385-9400 to pick up printed copies. Please post sign on March 12, 2022 or later.