Update: WA’s mask mandate for schools, businesses to end March 21, Inslee says


OLYMPIA — The days of ubiquitous COVID-19 masks in Washington may be drawing to a close.

Gov. Jay Inslee, scheduled to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday, is expected to release details for when the state will end emergency mask requirements covering businesses and schools.

Gov. Jay Inslee has set a press conference today at 2 p.m. to discuss the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch here:

Thursday’s news conference arrives as Washington’s daily confirmed cases and hospitalizations due to the omicron variant have gradually declined. Hospital officials recently warned, however, that the current wave is likely to persist for a few weeks more.

That hasn’t stopped the planning for a post-omicron world.

Last week, Inslee announced the end of a statewide order requiring masks to be worn outside at gatherings of 500 or more people.

The governor also announced the end of a pause on elective surgeries amid stressed hospital systems. Both of those changes are set to take effect Friday.

On Wednesday, King County officials announced that starting March 1, businesses such as restaurant, gyms, bars and theaters would no longer have to check the vaccination status of patrons.

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