April 20, 2024 4:08 am

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Health Secretary John Wiesman signed order mandating face coverings

By Washington Department of Health | Press Release

  • Use of face coverings in any indoor or outdoor public setting in the state.
  • Order takes effect June 26, 2020
  • Members of the public are required by law to comply with this order, and violators may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.70.130(7), RCW 70.05.120(4), WAC 246-100-070(3).
  • Violators guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or to imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed ninety days or to both fine and imprisonment.

Update: Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement at 2:45 p.m. on June 25: Washington law enforcement agencies continue to focus on education and engagement regarding state orders related to the coronavirus crisis. The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure, it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will continue to communicate with and encourage community members to make safety-focused decisions and follow all health-based directives from the Governor as well as state and local health officials.

Together, we will continue to address the very real public health threat of COVID-19, as we also work to safely reopen our economic, social and civic systems.

We trust the residents of Snohomish County to do what is necessary during this unique time of shared medical vulnerability and gradual return to social and economic normalcy.

OLYMPIA — On June 24, 2020, Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed Order 20-03 mandating the use of face coverings in any indoor or outdoor public setting in the state.

The order goes into effect on Friday, June 26 and applies to anyone who is:

  • Inside of or in line to enter any indoor public space
  • Seeking health care services
  • Waiting for or riding public transportation
  • Outdoors and unable to keep six feet away from others not in their household

There are exceptions to this order for children under the age of five and people with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering. In no case should children under two years of age wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.

“By using face coverings, we limit the spread of infected droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze,” said Wiesman. “I appreciate the efforts of those who are already regularly wearing face coverings in public, and urge others to join us in taking this critical step to control the virus. Each of us has a part to play to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

The Department of Health has issued guidance for cloth face coverings. A cloth face covering is anything from a scarf or bandana to a sewn mask with ties or straps that go around your head or behind your ears.

It is important to ensure you are using and handling cloth face coverings properly. The face covering should fit snugly around both your mouth and nose, and it should not have holes or tears in the fabric. Cloth face coverings should be washed frequently, ideally after each use, and certainly daily. If you are not able to wash it after each use, wash your hands or use alcohol based hand sanitizer immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face.

For more information, visit the Department of Health’s website at www.doh.wa.gov/masks


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