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Governor issues statewide mask order

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On June 23, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide mask order to take effect on June 26, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Inslee said it is a misdemeanor for those who do not comply.

Cloth face masks that cover the nose and mouth will be required:

  • Inside or in line of any business or public services
  • At medical facilities while seeking care
  • At crowded bus stops
  • In the workplace
  • While running errands
  • Enjoying entertainment

Masks are not required to be worn outdoors unless social distancing is impossible, Inslee said.

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have respiratory problems or are under the age of 5 do not need to wear a mask. Children under the age of two should not wear a mask. You can remove your face covering when seated at a restaurant or when recreating alone.

Existing rules to protect employees in the workplace will remain in place.

Reminder: The cloth mask should not have any holes or tears in the fabric. More mask information is here.

Inslee also said he would also issue a proclamation specifically requiring Yakima County businesses to enforce customer compliance in wearing a mask inside their business.

We’ll keep you updated.

Member questions and answers

Q: Is the Governor’s Mask order apply to when guests are seated at the table, or just when they walk in and walk around (i.e. to the bathroom)

A: As phase 2 requirements state, masks are to be worn by guests when not eating or seated at a table.

Q: If a guest refuses – what is my legal obligation as the owner?

A:The order does not require guests to document or provide a reason for not wearing a face covering. There are some legal exemptions to mask wearing and you could invite liability if you demand proof or documentation for these exemptions. We are working with the Governor’s office to get more clarity, and recommend not requiring proof of exemption from masks if a guest refuses to wear one at this time.

Q: Who is the legal enforcer of this if I want to report an issue?

A: The enforcement agent of this order is unclear. We are working with the Governor’s office to clarify and will update this site as soon as we have an answer.