With declining COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations across the west, California, Oregon and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance, and on Mar. 12, 2022, the states will be adopting new indoor mask policies and move from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools.
State policies do not change federal requirements, which still include masks on public transit.
As we previously reported, the original end date for mask requirements was set for Mar. 21, 2022.
“We’ve continued to monitor data from our state Department of Health, and have determined we are able to adjust the timing of our statewide mask requirement,” Gov Jay Inslee said. “While this represents another step forward for Washingtonians, we must still be mindful that many within our communities remain vulnerable. Many businesses and families will continue choosing to wear masks, because we’ve learned how effective they are at keeping one another safe. As we transition to this next phase, we will continue to move forward together carefully and cautiously.”
This new date does not change any other aspect of the updated mask requirements Inslee announced last week.
Masks will still be required in certain settings including health care, corrections facilities, and long-term care facilities.
The Washington State Department of Health will be issuing new guidance for K-12 schools next week so schools can prepare to implement updated safety protocols.