Inslee urges Washington residents to wear masks indoors, reiterates mask requirement for schools

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Citing the delta variant and rising COVID-19 cases around the state, Gov. Jay Inslee urged Washington residents to wear masks indoors in counties with high transmission rates.

This recommendation follows the latest CDC guidelines released Tuesday that urged vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in public spaces.

When asked why the recommendation is not a mandate, Inslee said that many people got vaccinated to avoid wearing a mask and he wanted to continue that incentive. He also said he hopes the statewide vaccination rate will continue to increase.

Inslee also reiterated that K-12 students and teachers will be required to wear masks in school buildings.

The mandate applies to students and staff regardless or vaccination status and will be legally enforced by districts.

The governor urged Washingtonians to stay vigilant amid the dangerous delta variant taking hold in the state.

He said COVID-19 trends are getting worse because not enough people have been vaccinated, calling it “maddening.”

The governor called getting vaccinated “a community effort where the entire state of Washington is in danger” because of people who have not gotten the vaccine.

Inslee went on to say there are two viruses in the state - COVID-19 and misinformation about the vaccine. He urged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The governor was asked whether he would consider requiring vaccines for federal employees or adding the COVID-19 vaccine