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Posted on: June 26, 2020

Use of Cloth Face Coverings Now Mandated in Most Public Areas

On June 23, Washington state Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced an order that mandates the use of cloth face coverings in most public areas. The order takes effect today, Friday, June 26.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) provides information to help the public understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect their communities and comply with the order for face coverings. Additional rules from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) apply to employers and employees.

Resources and information for employers and employees

Additional resources for the public

How to make a face covering

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I see someone not wearing a face covering? 
Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your face covering and stay six feet away.  

When do I not have to wear a face covering? 
You do not need to wear a cloth face covering when you are in your own home or in your car, if you are only with people in your own household. You also do not need to wear a cloth face covering when you are exercising outdoors and you have plenty of space. It’s a good idea to keep one in your pocket, though, in case you come across other people you can’t stay six feet away from. And some people may have health conditions or circumstances that make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous.

I don’t want to make or buy a face covering. Are there other options? 
Cloth face coverings do not need to be complicated or expensive. Save medical masks and respirators for health care workers and others in high-risk settings. Easy alternative are to use a scarf or any breathable, washable fabric, and wrap it around your face so that a couple layers of fabric are completely covering your mouth and nose.

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