Olympia – Masks will become mandatory for Washington State as of June 26.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a mandatory masking order for any indoor space or outside space when social distancing is difficult.
It’ll be illegal not to wear one, Inslee said.
“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.”
“Residents of Yakima County must wear face coverings in public and businesses must require customers and clients to wear masks to operate, and may not serve anyone who enters their business without a face covering, with some limited exceptions.”
After subsequent reports of cases increasing in additional counties, the governor 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.”
“The science is clear that when we use face coverings, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze. While some of us are wearing face coverings in public, we must increase usage to best control the virus.
“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.
Several states have made masking mandatory. Canadian jurisdictions are recommending it but not mandating it.