County reinstates indoor mask mandate for residents over 5 years old

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) – The Snohomish County health official has announced the return of an indoor masking warrant for all residents over the age of 5, making the county where Everett is located one of the first in Washington to revert to the blanket directive.

Dr Chris Spitters told a news conference on Tuesday that the warrant came after COVID-19 cases in the county doubled in the past three weeks, the Seattle Times reported.

“Our situation continues to be alarming in Snohomish County,” Spitters said.

The directive includes retail stores, grocery stores and government buildings and all other indoor public spaces. This does not apply to outdoor spaces, although Spitters has encouraged people to wear masks outdoors as well.

The mandate, which applies regardless of vaccination status, comes into effect Thursday.

“We really have to think about vaccination and masking in public, as opposed to vaccination or masking,” Spitters said.

At least 15 long-term care facilities in Snohomish County have at least one confirmed case, and hospitals have at least 62 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, including four on “mechanical ventilation,” he said.

Widespread mask warrants largely ended after Gov. Jay Inslee lifted most COVID-19 restrictions at the end of June.

On Monday, Inslee, along with officials in Seattle and King County, issued general orders requiring public employees to get vaccinated or lose their jobs as COVID-19 cases increase due to the delta plus variant. contagious and unvaccinated people.

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