Indoor Mask Mandate Lifted: What to Know
Last month, the outdoor mask mandate was lifted by Governor Jay Inslee. Starting tomorrow, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted as well. This is a big step for our community as we return back to a higher sense of normalcy than in previous months. However, there are still places in our community where masks will be required, including locations mandated at the federal level, healthcare settings, and some private businesses. Check out the list below for places we're you'll still need to wear a mask.
You'll need to wear a mask if you're going to or using...
If you're commuting to and from work to reduce your carbon footprint or to cut down on monthly expenses, good for you! Just remember to keep wearing a mask as they'll be required even after the mandate has been lifted. This includes ride shares, taxis, the STA bus system and trains like the Amtrak. School buses, on the other hand, will not require masks after this weekend.
Have an upcoming trip planned? If so, remember that masks will also be required at the airport and while you’re on the plane to your destination. We know continuing to wear a mask while you travel can feel like a nuisance, but it’s a small part of your trip or vacation that can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect others in a big way.
If you need to visit a healthcare setting such as doctors’ offices, emergency room, or care facility, please remember to wear a mask. They'll still be required after this weekend to help keep other patients along with our healthcare workers safe.
Correctional facilities such as the Spokane County Jail will require visitors to wear a mask even after the indoor mask mandate has been lifted.
Not all private businesses will choose to forgo masks in their stores. Some businesses might feel safer continuing to wear masks to protect their employees, especially if they're more vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19. If you come across a business that still requires masks, please be kind and respect the guidelines they have in place. One thing we can all continue to practice during this time is kindness, as the pandemic has affected us all in different ways.
Please keep in mind…
We know people might feel excited or even relieved to get back to their day-to-day activities without a mask. However, we want to make sure people know that lifting the mask mandate depends on a few factors too. As our community goes without masks, Spokane Regional Health District will continue to help monitor hospitalizations and positive cases of COVID-19.
Right now, data from our county continues to show a promising decline in hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 cases after the Omicron surge. However, an upward trend in hospitalizations or increased transmission after this weekend could mean we reconsider wearing masks again. As we monitor data in the upcoming weeks and months, we will keep you informed about what that means for our community.
For those who have been diligent about wearing a mask both indoors and outdoors, we want to thank you for your patience and help in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Here at Spokane Regional Health District, we're proud to be part of such a strong community!