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Vaccinated people should mask in public indoor spaces in most of Washington state

Office of Gov. Jay Inslee

Washingtonians who are fully vaccinated should wear masks in public indoor settings, Gov. Jay Inslee said on Wednesday.

Fully vaccinated people who live with young children or someone who is vulnerable to sickness should consider masking indoors even in counties with lower transmission. This is guidance and not a legal requirement.

It will be legally required, however for all students and staff at K-12 schools to wear masks around each other this upcoming school year. This will not be up to local jurisdictions. Physical distancing requirements remain at three feet in classrooms.

The guidance is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the latest science.

Inslee’s guidance on masking is specific to places with “substantial” community transmission, which is nearly every county in Washington state. The only county with a “low” community transmission rate is Adams County in eastern Washington.

By the numbers from Washington's health department:

  • 96% of people hospitalized with Covid were not vaccinated.
  • 61.4% of eligible Washingtonians (ages 12 and up) are fully vaccinated. Since children are not yet eligible for a Covid shot, this means Washington state is 52.3% fully vaccinated.
  • 6,097 Covid-19 related deaths; 1.3% death rate since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Compared to white people and Asian people, the rate of Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has been higher for Black, Hispanic, and Native Washingtonians, compared to their share of the state's population.

Copyright 2021 Northwest News Network

Isolde Raftery