Local health officials issue joint statement recommending masks in indoor public spaces

SEATTLE — Local health officials around Puget Sound issued a joint statement Monday recommending that all people wear masks in indoor public spaces.

The recommendation applies to anyone over the age of two going into an indoor public space where you don’t know the vaccination status of those around you.

A recommendation is not a mandate, it is advice to stay healthy, the statement read.

Businesses are encouraged to ask customers to mask up but are not required to do so. There is no enforcement of public health recommendations like these.

Health officers from King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan and Grays Harbor counties signed the statement.

Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County, issued a similar recommendation last week.

“This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant,” the statement read.

The statement also encouraged anyone who isn’t vaccinated and is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine to get one “immediately.”

“Vaccinations are our best defense against COVID-19 and are safe, effective, and readily available for everyone age 12 and over,” it said.

Read the full statement here.