Washington Health Officers Urge Masking in Public Indoor Spaces
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SRHD Interim Health Officer Signs Joint Statement
SPOKANE, Wash. – Health officers from local heath jurisdictions throughout Washington, including Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez, issued a joint statement urging people to wear masks indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
The statement was in response to increasing case rates, hospitalizations, and the highly transmissible Delta variant’s presence throughout Washington. Velázquez joined other public health leaders in reiterating the importance of vaccination in addition to following public health guidance: masking, distancing, washing your hands, sanitizing, testing, and staying home when sick.
Public health officials explain masking is of particular importance in settings like grocery or retail stores, theaters and family entertainment centers where it is difficult to know the vaccination status of everyone present and acts as an extra precautionary measure.
Nearly 250,000 people have initiated vaccination for COVID-19 in Spokane County. Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19 and greatly decreases the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization and death. No vaccine is 100% effective, and it is still possible to become ill with COVID-19 even if you are fully vaccinated.
“Masking up in public indoor spaces even after vaccination is a good idea,” Velázquez said. “It is an extra layer of protection with highly contagious variants, particularly the Delta variant, circulating in our community. I strongly urge our community to please use all public health measures available to you. Combined, masking and vaccination will help our community stay healthy and continue moving forward.”