Wearing a Face Mask in Public Is Now Required in Washington

"Starting Friday, June 26, all people in Washington state are required to wear a face covering when you are in any indoor or outdoor public area. This can be a cloth face mask, several layers of fabric tied behind the head, bandana, or scarf. It needs to cover your mouth and nose. Children under 2 years old should not wear a face covering. People who are unable to wear a face covering because of medical conditions are not required to. You can take off your mask to eat, drink, or communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. We hope most people will wear a face covering to protect the health of their friends and loved ones.

Not following the order may result in a misdemeanor charge. This could be a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 90 days in county jail."

Keep in mind, businesses may disallow entry to persons not complying with the order.  You should ask if they provide alternate accommodations in such cases.

Note that you need not wear a mask or face covering while walking around the Creekside campus.  According to the Secretary of Health's order, face coverings may be removed "while in an outdoor public area, provided that a distance of at least six feet is maintained from non-household members."  See link below for the full text of the Secretary's order.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about wearing face masks:
  1. Masks are not worn to protect the wearer from infection.  They are worn to protect everyone else.  Every time you exhale, speak, sing or cough, your breath contains micro-droplets of fluid that can broadcast infectious materials.
  2. It is known that some individuals are "asymptomatic carriers."  In other words, they can carry and spread the virus without feeling ill or being aware they are infected.
  3. Wearing a face mask does not, in itself, pose a health risk.  If this was true, a whole lot of surgeons and dentists would be at death's door.  Normal oxygen saturations of 95-100% have been consistently measured in individuals wearing masks.
  4. Knowledge changes over time.  We once thought the earth was flat, but new data and experience changed that notion.  Early reports indicated that mask wearing was "unnecessary" or "ineffective."  With experience and new data, we now know the evidence clearly supports wearing masks to reduce the spread of coronavirus infections.
One more point is important to keep in mind.  According to frontline medical personnel, those who survive the coronavirus illness may not be out of the woods.  Serious, permanent organ damage has been observed in survivors of all ages.  The result can be long-term, even life-long disability.

Additional Resources

Dave Wenning