Governor Inslee Announces Statewide Mask Mandate
Kelli Hawkins | firstname.lastname@example.org | 509.324.1539, c 509.994.8968
SPOKANE, Wash. – Governor Jay Inslee has announced an expansion of Washington state’s mask mandate to include both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor settings beginning Aug. 23. Masks are also strongly recommended in crowded outdoor settings.
This announcement follows a surge in COVID-19 cases and a record number of hospitalizations in Washington state. The mandate aligns with a recent joint statement from health officers throughout Washington, including Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez, urging everybody to wear masks indoors and a recent update to CDC guidance.
“We realize people are feeling pandemic fatigue and this may feel like a step backward,” says Velázquez, “but with a new variant and our current vaccination rates, masking is a simple and effective tool that adds another layer of protection for our community.”
Masking and vaccination are critical tools that Spokane County residents can use to help slow the spread of COVID-19. More than 250,000 individuals have initiated vaccination in Spokane County; however, many people remain unvaccinated. Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19 and greatly decreases the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization and death. The health district encourages community members who are not already vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. More information about the COVID-19 vaccines and where to find a vaccine provider can be found at covid.srhd.org and vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.