Reminder: Monday brings the start of required face masks around Seattle and King County.
The May 18th start of the directive requires King County residents to wear “a cloth face covering in indoor public spaces or confined spaces where it could be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing.”
Examples of where the coverings are required include “stores, restaurants, farmers markets, banks, and public transportation.”
“Deaf hard-of-hearing and other individuals who rely on face and mouth movements to communicate are not required to comply with this directive,” the county says.
Officials announced the directive last week after initial mixed messages as hospitals and health workers struggled with low supplies of “personal protective equipment.” In April the CDC finally issued its recommendations on the “use of cloth face coverings” to slow the spread of COVID-19 and sightings of the face coverings around the Hill began to increase as part of efforts to protect others from possible infection.
In addition to now providing clear guidance about the masks for people as they go about their errands and trips outside the home, the rules will also help businesses set policies for their customers as venues reopen under loosened COVID-19 restrictions.
The county has said past directives “may be subject to enforcement actions, which could include legal actions” but Mayor Jenny Durkan has said there are no plans for enforcement in Seattle.
The city is providing masks at no cost to “to vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, low-income older adults, and food bank staff.”
The face coverings are also required on Metro public transit and at Sea-Tac Airport.
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