Health director issues mask directive for Pierce County

TACOMA, Wash. — The director of health for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has issued a countywide mask directive Wednesday.

Dr. Anthony Chen said anyone in Pierce County who is 5 or older should wear a face-covering indoors in public, and outdoors where physical distancing isn’t possible.

The directive applies to everyone, whether vaccinated or not.

Chen said masks should be worn in any place open to the public, including retail stores, grocery stores, government buildings and any place where members of the public can enter freely.

The directive does not apply to non-public spaces such as businesses, offices, and other places of employment that have limited access.

“Masking will reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 for everyone, including customers, workers and children under 12 who cannot get vaccinated,” Dr. Chen said. “I strongly urge everyone in Pierce County to follow this directive and to get vaccinated. We must use all the tools we have to keep our community safe.”

“Our data shows we are experiencing the longest and strongest COVID-19 case increase we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are rising in Pierce County and across the country, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. Vaccinated people can still spread COVID-19, but they are at much lower risk of severe illness and death. Wearing masks in public will help protect us all,” a post from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said.

Read the full text of the directive here.