Thurston County requiring masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status

Thurston County is now the second county in Washington to issue a masking directive, which will go into effect Friday, Aug. 13 at 6 a.m.

Thurston County Health Officer, Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek, issued the directive mandating that all residents wear facial coverings when in indoor public spaces regardless of individual vaccination status. 

Indoor public spaces include but are not limited to grocery stores, government buildings and businesses where the public may enter freely — the directive does not apply to non-public spaces such as businesses or offices with limited access.

RELATED: Washington state recommends wearing masks indoors, requires masks for K-12 schools

Additionally, children five and older must wear masks while inside public settings. Children between the ages of two and four are also recommended to wear a facial covering.

Anyone in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools, childcare, public transportation and health care settings have been directed to wear a mask. 

The directive is to remain in effect until health officers confirm that COVID-19 rates have declined to low levels of transmission as defined by the CDC.

Thurston County has had a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and currently has a COVID-19 transmission rate of 272.5 cases per 100,000 population over 14 days and is classified by the CDC as having high transmission, according to the county health department.

Snohomish County was the first county to issue a similar directive. The mask requirement went into effect on Aug. 12

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