Directive to wear face coverings begins May 18 in King County

San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James will present a proposed order at the May 15 Board of Health meeting that would require  people to wear masks when in public. Citizens might be interested in the details of the  King County Health Officer's directive regarding the wearing of face coverings. The rules start on Monday, May 18, 2020. People are ordered to wear a face covering when at any indoor or outdoor public space where they may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with them. There are exceptions to the new rules. 

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.

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, or otherwise outdoors if you are able to regularly stay 6 feet away from other people who do not live with you.

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.

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. 


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1 comment

  • Dave
    Dave Friday, 15 May 2020 10:50 Comment Link

    It would be nice if our local government would release us from this lockdown and let us make personal choices. We are not King County. We should not be looking to a densely populated region for ideas on our response to COVID-19.


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