King County expected to require masks indoors for all

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Five days ago the CDC announced fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks indoors. The state of Washington adopted the guidance immediately.

Now it looks like King County is due for another change

>> Coronavirus: CDC eases mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated Americans

According to Twitter, Public Health Seattle and King County “is considering whether ending the indoor mask mandate is the best option in King County at this time.”

Dr. Jeff Duchin tweeted “I strongly encourage all KC residents (not just unvaccinated people) to continue wearing face masks when in indoor public spaces.”

Duchin is also asking businesses to have customers and employees mask up.

At UW Medicine, Dr. John Lynch would like to see masks required indoors until at least June 30 when the state reopens.

>> Inslee: All counties will move to phase 3 on Tuesday, state ‘on track’ for full reopening June 30

“I think we should stick with what we know works. Wearing masks indoors keeps all of us safe,” said Dr. John Lynch, UW Medicine.

Dr. Lynch wants COVID cases to drop and vaccination rates to rise, including for the newly eligible 12-15 year olds.

“My two children got vaccinated on Thursday and still need another six weeks before they have all the benefits of vaccination,” said Dr. Lynch.

Today at Franklin High School, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan talked about the plan to vaccinate 17,000 Seattle students before summer.

“We’re not out of the woods yet. Please get vaccinated,” said Mayor Durkan. Even she alluded to the change.

The CDC eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated Americans, saying they no longer need to wear masks in most situations to protect against the virus.

Under the new guidelines, the CDC said fully vaccinated people “can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Gov. Jay Inslee also lifted the statewide mask mandate after the CDC updated its guidance.

“Please follow CDC guidelines, if you’re inside, Dr. Duchin is going to be issuing some guidance. Right now please wear your mask when you’re at the grocery store and other places,” said Mayor Durkan.

Public Health Seattle and King County said a decision on masking guidance will be made later this week.

KIRO7 talked to Siri Wilder on Queen Anne and asked what she thought about the possibility the mask requirement would return.

“I think it’s fair because you don’t know who’s going to be vaccinated, who’s not,” said Siri Wilder.

Her husband agreed it didn’t seem to be asking much. “It’s not too much trouble, walk into a grocery store, wear a mask,” said Pace Wilder.