Courtesy Of Danica Garcia


Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more attendees will have to wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not. The new, expanded mask mandate goes into effect on Monday.

Inslee’s order comes on the heels of similar requirements that took effect this week in King and Pierce Counties.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

If you’ve received your Covid shots, the CDC has announced it’s ok to get together, without masks, with others who have been inoculated.
Seattle infectious disease expert Shireesha Dhanireddy says she agrees, to a point.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The head of the Washington State Hospital Association says retailers have removed about two million counterfeit N-95 masks from store shelves in the state after learning they don’t meet quality standards.

Cassie Sauer says her organization and 40 hospitals in Washington had purchased the 3-M brand masks to supplement their supplies.

Screening For Covid In A Spokane Shelter

Nov 2, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Despite the uncertainty over who is currently the health officer at the agency, Spokane Regional Health District employees continue to do their jobs. That includes monitoring the health of people who stay at Spokane’s homeless shelters.

TVW screenshot

Governor Jay Inslee says his state will join other western states to review Covid vaccines, when they become available. Also during a press conference on Tuesday, the governor urged Idahoans to wear their masks when around others.

Panhandle Health District YouTube

The Idaho Panhandle health board has voted to rescind its rule requiring people wear masks in Kootenai County.

The board had approved an enforceable mask mandate on July 23. It was a time when the Panhandle was approaching the peak of a coronavirus surge. That move was unpopular, so unpopular that even though the Panhandle is enduring another surge, the health board voted to remove the mandate.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Part of the battle for local health officials in monitoring the coronavirus is getting enough testing and personal protective equipment for health care workers.

The Spokane Regional Health District relies almost exclusively on the state Department of Health for its supplies.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says that supply chain has been somewhat spotty. But he hit the motherlode last week with a shipment of about 125-thousand KN-95 masks.

Courtesy of Panhandle Health District

The Idaho Panhandle Health Board has voted to enact a mask mandate for Kootenai County.

At the end of a three-hour meeting, which included public testimony, the board voted four-to-two to require people to wear face coverings in public.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane County health officials say a new survey shows fewer people are wearing face coverings in public.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says the health district last week sent out volunteers to several venues around the county to observe and count how many people were wearing masks.

Missy Nadvornick

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz is looking for 80% of county residents to wear masks as they’re out and about. That, he says, is the minimum needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Right now, his rough guess is that about 65% of people are masking up.

The number of Covid-related hospitalizations in Spokane County continues to inch up.

Today [Thursday], Health Officer Bob Lutz reported 30 people are receiving care, up two from Wednesday. Eighteen of them are Spokane County residents, up three from Wednesday. Ten are in intensive care.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane County will soon distribute face coverings to local non-profits to distribute to individuals whose income is 200% or less of the federal poverty level. Simone Ramel-McKay from the emergency management division says her office expects to receive about 320,000 masks next month.

Skepticism Abounds Around Contact Tracing And Mask Orders

May 13, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane public health officials are not only battling the coronavirus. They’re also battling skepticism from people questioning the effectiveness of their advice and their motives.

When the Spokane Regional Health District moves to enhance its program for tracing people who test positive for Covid-19, its motives will be questioned.

The Dos and Don'ts Of Cleaning Masks

Apr 28, 2020
Spokane COVID Response

Mask etiquette and hygiene have become conversation topics on Zoom and on the Internet as people wonder what’s the best way to keep their face wear clean.

A Spokane Fire Department deputy chief says there are definitely mask sanitizing no-nos. He showed a few of them to reporters on Tuesday.

Tim Pfarr/Washington State Hospital Association

Nine rural hospitals in Washington have new shipments of hospital masks, thanks to the organization that advocates for them in Olympia. And that organization’s CEO is getting a big kick out of the whole thing.