Essential workers plead for face mask compliance

SEATTLE – It’s official: Face coverings are now being urged to be worn by everyone in King County.

The declaration, made by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, County Executive Dow Constantine and local health officials, was announced late Monday afternoon.

As for those working in essential jobs, many told Q13 News not nearly enough people who continue leaving their homes bother to cover their faces.

“The average week I try to make $100 to $150 a day,” said Hunter Webb.

Webb says he has been delivering food ever since being laid off from his main gig, adding the pandemic made his decision about wearing a mask easy.

“If putting on a mask is what it takes to care about each other, I’m all for it,” he said.

Officials at Puget Sound’s main airport made a similar declaration directing all passengers, visitors and employees will be required to wear face coverings later this month.

Spencer Jones works for King County Metro and has been providing transit service for more than two decades. He continues through the pandemic and recalled a recent interaction with a passenger that gave him cause for concern.

“She started sneezing and coughing,” Jones said. “I did ask if she would mind wearing a mask that I had in my bag and she said no. She didn’t want to do that.”

Jones says only about half of his riders have been wearing face coverings.  He believes Monday’s directive from health officials is the right call.

“For the safety of themselves, safety of Metro and the riders and their families, it would be in their best interest for them to wear masks,” said Jones. “For the safety of everyone.”

Officials at Metro say while face coverings will be required, they understand not everyone can wear one for medical or other reasons.

Even so, drivers will be instructed to strongly suggest the masks. Passengers who don’t wear one will not be denied entry.