Numbers. For the most recent tally of cases by county, demographics and more, visit the Department of Health’s dashboard and the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard. Several sections of the risk assessment dashboard page are updated on Wednesdays with new information about PPE procurement, activity in long-term care facilities, and more.
Secretary of Health John Wiesman signs statewide face covering order. Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary Wiesman Tuesday announced the new statewide order that requires the use of face coverings in most indoor or outdoor public settings. On Wednesday, Wiesman signed and issued Order 20-03. The order goes into effect on Friday, June 26 and applies to anyone inside of or in line to enter an indoor public space, waiting for or riding public transportation, and anyone outdoors and unable to keep 6 feet away from others not in their households. DOH guidance provides additional information, and the agency posted an article today detailing debunking some myths about face coverings.
There are exemptions for people who are deaf or have hearing loss and those who have medical conditions that preclude them from wearing a mask. Violation of the statewide mask order for individuals is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Public health officials also want to continue reminding Washingtonians that staying homing is still safest. When you do go out, wear your face covering, stay 6 feet apart, wash your hands, and stay local.
Thurston County approved to move to Phase 3 of Safe Start plan. On Wednesday, Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Thurston County to move to Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.
A total of three counties are in Phase 1, two counties are in a modified version of Phase 1, 17 counties are in Phase 2 and 17 counties are in Phase 3. To view which counties are in each phase of the Safe Start plan, visit here.
Inslee details guidelines for higher education institutions at press conference. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation that provides specific guidance for institutions of higher education to re-open. These guidelines take into account the differences between campuses and was developed in coordination with the Legislature’s Higher Education Committee and stakeholders. The plan provides flexibility for changing conditions while providing protection for students with underlying conditions and equitable treatment for those in different circumstances. You can view the press conference on TVW.
State emergency officials are distributing millions of free face coverings to all low-income Washingtonians. State officials launched a launched a program earlier this month to ensure access to free, reusable cloth face coverings for all low-income Washingtonians. The state’s Emergency Management Division in partnership with the Department of Enterprise Services purchased 3.6 million cloth facemasks with the goal of distributing two to every Washingtonian below 200% of the federal poverty level.
The state has distributed nearly 2.8 million masks and is working with local emergency management offices to distribute the rest. People who would like to pick up a mask should contact their county’s local emergency manager.