Statewide requirement to wear face coverings
Updated July 7, 2020:
Effective July 7, the Governor's Statewide face covering order directs businesses to require and enforce the use of face coverings by all customers and clients.
Face coverings are required in all public indoor spaces, and outdoors when you cannot remain 6 feet apart.
The Washington State Department of Health has issued a statewide order requiring individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can't stay 6 feet apart from others.
A face covering is not needed when you are outside walking, exercising, or otherwise outdoors if you are able to regularly stay 6 feet away from other people who do not live with you.
Use cloth face coverings. Do not use medical masks.
Wear face coverings that offer two or more layers of tightly woven fabric such as cotton and cotton blends that are breathable and provide a snug fit without gaps. The face covering must fit over your nose and mouth. It is important to save medical-grade surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers and people who have special health needs.
To protect yourself, wear face coverings properly.
- Your mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before you put on a face covering and after removing it.
- Change your face covering when it gets moist.
- Wash your face covering after each use.
Some people do not need to follow this directive, including:
- Babies and toddlers under age 2 should never wear cloth face coverings. Children ages 2-4 are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
- All children ages 5 years & up should wear a face covering unless medically directed to do otherwise.
- Anyone with a disability that makes it hard for them to wear or remove a face covering.
- Anyone who is deaf and moves their face and mouth to communicate.
- Anyone who has been advised by a medical professional to not wear a face covering because of personal health issues.
- Anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the face covering without help.
Why is wearing a face covering important?
Cloth face coverings protect other people from getting COVID-19 from us when we talk, cough or sneeze. Between 20-40 percent of people with COVID-19 don't show any symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Recent research suggests wearing a face covering can significantly reduce the incidence of COVID-19. Until a vaccine or cure is developed, face coverings will be our best defense.
REMEMBER: Staying home is still the safest way to prevent spreading COVID-19. When out, wear your face covering, stay 6 feet apart from others, wash your hands frequently, and stay local.
Requirements for businesses, employers, and non-profits
- The Department of Labor & Industries requires employers to provide at no cost appropriate face coverings or masks that must be worn by all employees and volunteers who don't work alone.
- Businesses and non-profits are required to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises. Businesses can download a sign that can be used for this purpose from the right column of this page.
- Effective July 7, the Governor's statewide order directs business and non-profits to require and enforce the use of face coverings by all customers or clients. More information about enforcing this face covering order is available from the State Department of Health
Link/share our site at www.kingcounty.gov/masks