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Read the formal language of the Mask Directive in PDF format

The summary is also available in the following languages:


Starting on May 18, 2020, King County residents are directed to wear face coverings in most public settings.
Wear a face covering when you are at any indoor or outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you.

Everyone is strongly urged to wear face coverings in places such as:

  • Stores that sell food and beverages (including: grocery stores, pharmacies, corner stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, farmers' markets, food banks, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, big box stores that sell groceries, and similar places that sell food).
  • Retail stores (including: convenience stores, pet supply stores, auto supplies and repair shops, hardware and home improvement stores, garden stores that sell supplies for growing food, office supply stores, and home appliance stores).
  • Restaurant take-out and food businesses. Employees who prepare, carry out, and deliver food must wear masks.
  • Cannabis shops and stores that sell dietary supplements.
  • Tobacco and vapor shops.
  • Buses, light rail, and other forms of public transportation.

A face covering is not needed when you are outside walking, exercising, sitting at the park, etc. if you are able to regularly stay arms' length away from other people.

Use cloth face coverings. Do not use medical masks.
Wear fabric face coverings, such as cloth face masks, scarves, and bandanas. 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:

  • Children ages 2 years and younger. Babies and toddlers under age two should never wear cloth face coverings.
  • Children ages 2-12 years. Children in this age group should only wear a face covering if a parent or caregiver supervises to make sure it's worn safely.
  • 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.

Individuals are strongly urged to comply with this Directive. There is no criminal, civil, or financial penalty for failing to wear a face covering in these settings.

Businesses and individuals must continue to follow all existing COVID-19 orders from the Local Health Officer, Governor, or other local, state, or federal regulatory agencies, and any other relevant local, state, or federal civil rights laws.

Businesses are required to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises. Businesses can download a sign (available in multiple languages) that can be used for this purpose at www.kingcounty.gov/masks.