Gov. Inslee to mandate face masks in Yakima County as coronavirus cases continue to rise

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee said he will soon require people in Yakima County to wear face masks in public to limit the spread of coronavirus as cases continue to rise.

"This is a legal requirement, not a suggestion," Inslee said.

Businesses will be required to turn people away who aren't wearing masks.

Inslee and other health officials said that if immediate action is not taken, the number of cases in the county will double in the next two weeks.

The governor said the order will be released in the coming days, allowing leaders time to plan.

Yakima County currently has the second-highest total of coronavirus cases in the state, second to King County.

Inslee emphasized that these case numbers are not just a data point, but potential tragedies.

“The clearest recovery path requires immediate action,” he said.