A statewide indoor mask mandate went into effect Monday for all individuals age 5 and up — regardless of vaccination status.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the mask requirement last week as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Washington have reached a new peak, and as every county in the state has been categorized as substantial or high risk for transmission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Masks are required in most public indoor spaces, including restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public-facing offices.
Exempted are office spaces that are not easily accessible to the public where individuals are vaccinated, and when working alone indoors or in a vehicle where there is no public face-to-face interaction.
Masks are not required for small, private indoor gatherings where all attendees are vaccinated.
Masks will continue to be required for unvaccinated workers on the job, whether it is public-facing or not. Masks are also required for all individuals in K-12 settings, public transportation and congregate living areas like hospitals and jails.
The state Department of Health is also recommending wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings like a concert, fairs, sporting events or farmers markets.
The mandate comes after King, Snohomish, Thurston and Pierce counties issued mask guidelines, and a recommendation by all 35 local health officers in the state urging all residents to wear face coverings in public indoor settings.