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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: July 29, 2020

New guidance for face coverings: when and where you should wear them

On July 25th, Washington State updated the requirements for wearing face coverings. Face coverings are now required in any common spaces where you can’t socially distance. This includes places such as:

  • Elevators.
  • Hallways, courtyards,  and shared spaces in apartments, condominium buildings, university housing, hotels, and motels.
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult family homes.

This is in addition to the existing requirement to wear a face covering in public places where six-feet of distance cannot be maintained, such as grocery stores, restaurants, or farmer’s markets.

So, where and when should I wear a mask?

It’s a good idea to bring a face covering with you any time you leave your house, just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need it. Face coverings should be worn anytime you are in a situation where you cannot maintain six feet of physical distance between yourself and others that don’t live with you. This includes places like:

  • Parks when there are other people in close proximity.
  • Trails where you may be passing people within six feet.
  • Backyard gatherings with people outside of your household.
  • Any indoor location where other people are around, such as workplaces, stores, or restaurants.
  • Any other indoor or outdoor activity where you may come into close contact with others.

Face coverings do not need to be worn:

  • When you are at home with only your household members.
  • If you are at work and there are no other people around.
  • If you are outdoors and there is no one around you.

Wearing a face covering is a new experience for all of us, but we know that it’s one of the best tools we have to reduce the transmission of the virus. 

Case counts in our county and state have been on the rise, and it depends on all of us following guidance to reduce our numbers. We know it’s been frustrating, and it feels like this has been going on forever, but we have to stick with it. Businesses and schools are depending on us to maintain our healthy habits, so they can safely reopen. Let’s keep up the momentum, and #MaskUpWA.

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