Face coverings required in public starting Friday, June 26

Information released by the Washington State Department of Commerce

Effective Friday, June 26, every Washingtonian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, will be legally required to wear a face covering.

  • Those with certain medical conditions and children under the age of two are excepted. Children aged 2-4 are encouraged, but not required, to wear a face covering with adult assistance.
  • Individuals may remove face coverings under certain circumstances, including while eating or drinking at a restaurant; while communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing; and while outdoors in public areas, provided that a distance of six feet is maintained from people who are not members of their household.
  • Currently, businesses in Yakima County may not serve anyone who enters their business without a facial covering.

All Washington workers must wear cloth face coverings at work, at minimum.

As of June 8, all employees are required to wear a cloth facial covering, except when working alone in an office, vehicle, or at a job site, or when the job has no in-person interaction. This applies to employees working in separate rooms or cubicles if the walls are below face level when working at their desks.

Employers must provide workers with appropriately protective facial coverings for the worker’s risk of exposure.

Per the Safe Start plan, all Washington employers are required to provide (at no cost to employees) and require the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate for the worker’s risk of exposure. Cloth face coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone unless their risk profile dictates a higher level of protection.

COVID-19 Disease Activity, Safe Start Status

Washington’s 7-day test positivity rate is currently 3.7%

The test positivity rate indicates the proportion of tests that return positive results. 3.7% of individuals tested over the last week in Washington State tested positive for COVID-19. Yakima County reported 26.5%, Benton County reported 17.1%, and Franklin County reported 30.8%. These concentrated outbreaks remain of great concern.

Find county status and the meaning of each Safe Start phase at coronavirus.wa.gov

Visit the Washington State Coronavirus Response website for county-level Safe Start phase status and “What’s open in each phase?“. Also refer to the Risk Assessment Dashboard for reporting on local health metrics.

17 Washington counties have reached Phase 3 of the Safe Start reopening plan.

Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Lewis, Skamania, Kittitas, Lincoln, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Whitman, Garfield, Columbia, and Asotin counties have all reached Phase 3 of the Safe Start plan. Businesses in Phase 3 must develop and prominently post a safety plan that is at least as protective of Department of Labor & Industries requirements.

For additional information, visit coronavirus.wa.gov