Business Mandated to Require Masks

Businesses Now Responsible For Patrons

Less than a week after mandating that every Washington State resident wear masks in public spaces, Governor Inslee proclaimed that businesses would be responsible for the people that patronize their stores and restaurants. 

Under this July 2nd proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the state-wide face covering order.  This order took effect on July 7th.

Previous Proclamations 

Earlier, the governor had mandated the use of face masks for all businesses and their patrons.  Invoking the State of Emergency Powers (Washington State code RCW 43.06.220), the governor ordered Secretary of Health John Wiesman to establish guidelines for all to follow. 

The guidelines state, “Every person in Washington State must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when in any indoor or outdoor public setting…” The only exemptions being given are to children younger than 5 years old, persons with a medical or mental condition, or a person with a disability that prevents them from wearing the mask. 

Possible Consequences

Members of the public are required by law to comply with this order, and violators may be subject to criminal penalties. 

A release from the Governor’s office states that a violation by an employer could carry a penalty of nearly $10,000 or more. Individuals not following the Department of Health order on face coverings may be subject to a misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 90 days in county jail per offense.

What’s In A Mask?

The guidelines state that a proper face mask is one that covers both the nose and mouth. It can be:

  • A sewn mask secured with ties or straps around the head or behind the ears
  • Multiple layers of fabric tied around the head
  • Made from a variety of materials, such as fleece, cotton
  • Factory-made or made from household items


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