Face masks will be mandatory in Washington State starting today

Jun 26 2020, 8:00 am

A statewide order calling for the mandatory use of face masks in Washington comes into effect on Friday morning.

Governor Jay Inslee first made the announcement at a press conference earlier this week, saying that Washingtonians would be required to wear a mask or coverings for the nose and mouth.

The order was issued by Secretary of Health John Wiesman and must be follows in any public area, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.

This includes situations such as the following: a person entering or waiting to enter an indoor location such as a grocery store or retailer; a person seeking health care services; a person boarding or waiting to board public transit; or when a person is outdoors and cannot maintain six feet of physical distancing.

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The only exceptions to this order are children under the age of five, as well as those with a medical or mental health condition or disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks.

The Washington State Department of Health adds that a child under the age of two should not wear a mask under any circumstances, as it could pose a risk of suffocation.

“I highly appreciate the efforts of those who already wear masks in public on a regular basis and urge others to join us in this critical measure to control the virus,” says Wiesman in a written statement. “We all have a role in trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

The Department of Health says that a fabric face mask “can be anything from a scarf or kerchief to a sewn-on face mask.”

A proper-fitting face mask will cover the mouth and nose and be free of holes and tears.