PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen issued a face mask directive for Tacoma-Pierce County on Tuesday.
The directive instructs individuals five years and older to wear a face mask both indoors and in outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible — regardless of vaccination status.
Public spaces include retail, grocery stores, government buildings and any space where members of the public may enter freely.
The countywide directive does not apply to private businesses, offices or other places of employment with limited access.
Health department data shows that the current surge in COVID-19 cases is similar to numbers seen at the beginning of the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are rising in Pierce County due to the delta variant, according to officials.
"Masking will reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 for everyone, including customers, workers and children under 12 who cannot get vaccinated," said Dr. Chen.
"I strongly urge everyone in Pierce County to follow this directive and to get vaccinated. We must use all the tools we have to keep our community safe."
People eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can find resources here.
To find local testing sites, visit the health department's website.
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