Starting Friday, June 26th, Governor Jay Inslee will be requiring face masks in all Washington State public settings.
Face masks are now mandatory in all public indoor locations, and in any public outdoor locations that do not allow for six feet of social distance between people. “Until a vaccine or cure is developed, this is really going to be our best defense,” Inslee said at a news conference. People with extenuating health circumstances and children younger than 5 are exempt from this order, but it is recommended that kids 3-5 wear a mask with adult supervision. Children under the age of 2 are not to wear masks as there is a risk of suffocation.
“Willful violation of this order is tantamount to a misdemeanor,” said Governor Inslee in his press conference. He continued to say that “everybody’s style [of face covering] is acceptable,” and as long as the mouth and nose is covered, they will not be charged with the misdemeanor. Wearing a face mask, Inslee says, will hopefully become a part of Washington State etiquette. To wear one is to make the statement that you care for others.
Face masks will not replace other methods of flattening the curve. Hand-washing, social distancing, and the phased Stay At Home Order will remain as prominent safety measures. Reusable face masks can be purchased online or through local grocery and hardware stores, along with several local vendors, such as the Sunday Farmers Markets at the Clayton Fairgrounds.