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Posted on: September 16, 2021

Mask Use For Businesses

In the tri county area, we have struggled with mask use and acceptance of the vaccines as effective tools in the fight against COVID-19. Unfortunately, we are now feeling the full impacts of the Delta variant within our communities. Our hospitals are strained to the limit, some businesses and government offices are temporarily closed, schools are experiencing increased cases and high numbers of students are in quarantine. Residents are also becoming severely ill and dying. We desperately need the cooperation of our businesses and residents if we hope to improve our current situation and recover from this pandemic. 

On August 23, 2021, the renewed mask mandate for Washington State took effect, requiring mask use in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status and with limited exceptions and exemptions. People are individually responsible to comply with this order; however, businesses have responsibilities to enforce this with their employees and customers. This directive was a result of increased cases statewide due to the Delta variant that is twice as contagious as previous variants and causes more severe illness. 

 Washington State L&I has provided guidance for Requirements for Employers in Public Spaces. The information below is included but is not limited to: 

  • Requiring face coverings or masks for customers and employees, regardless of vaccination status in indoor spaces accessible to the public. 
  • Post signage in a prominent location visible to customers at each entry informing customers of the face covering requirement. 
  • Keeping employees with possible or confirmed COVID from working around others and following appropriate isolation or quarantine guidance as required. 

It has been shown utilizing multiple layers of interventions can slow and reduce the spread of the virus. With current cases increasing at an alarming pace in our areas we are encouraging all precautions be practiced whenever possible including: 

  • Wearing a mask in all indoor spaces, even if you are vaccinated;
  • Wearing a mask outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of separation from others;
  • If you are not already vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible; 
  • Staying home and away from others if you are sick, even with mild symptoms.

If you have not received your vaccine, please consider doing so now.  Find a vaccine provider near you.

 

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