King County’s directive to wear face coverings starts Monday

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Starting Monday, residents of King County are strongly urged to wear a face mask or covering while in most public places.

>>Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will require all to wear masks

Officials said a face covering should be worn in places such as food and retail stores, restaurants for take out, cannabis and tobacco shops and on buses, light rail and other public transportation.

Public health experts remind you, wearing a face mask helps prevent any possible viral particals in your breath from spreading to others.

“You wearing a face mask is your way of showing them that you care about them enough to put on the face mask and offer them protection, just in the case that you might actually have COVID-19 and not know it,” said Hilary Godwin, Dean of University of Washington’s School of Public Health.

King County suggests cloth face coverings are suggested over medical masks to preserve supplies for healthcare workers, and they should cover the nose and mouth.

One thing to note: The directive is strongly recommended but will not be enforced.

However, businesses are “required to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises,” the public health website said.

Metro and Sound Transit released a statement requiring passengers to wear a mask or face covering but stated operators would not prevent passengers from boarding if they didn’t have a mask.

Metro said it would reinforce the directive through recorded reminders, which would be played on buses and other places.

Kids two years old and younger should not wear a mask, according to public health.

And they say, keep in mind some others are also exempt from the directive. That includes someone with a disability or medical condition that makes it hard to wear a face covering.

“We should avoid making assumptions about why someone is not wearing a face covering and make sure not to stigmatize or discriminate against people who are unable to wear a face covering,” King County & Seattle Public Health said in an email.