Today, June 23, Governor Jay Inslee announced that, as of Friday the 26th, mask wearing will be required throughout Washington State. The rule requires anyone over the age of 5 to wear a face mask when leaving the home. The Governor recommends that children between the ages of 3 and 5 also wear masks.
There are exceptions to the rule. These include people eating in a restaurant. They also include people who can’t wear masks because of existing medical conditions.
Not wearing a mask will be considered a misdemeanor.
Inslee said that the reason for the decision is evidence that the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing throughout the State. Mask wearing seems, he said, to be the only thing other than social distancing that effectively limits the spread of the disease.
The new rule will likely remain in effect until there is a significant change to the disease’s status, such as widespread availability of a vaccine.
Secretary of Health John Wiesman said that he supported the Governor’s decision.
Read more about the announcement here.