Washington Gov. Jay Insley is considering new Centers for Disease Control centers that are repealing recommendations for most U.S. residents to wear masks in many rooms, he said Friday.
But March 21 remains the date, at least for now, when the state of Washington will ease the requirements for masks, he said.
“We will have more to say next week,” he added in a brief announcement to the media on Friday night.
About 70% of people in the country live in counties where the CDC now feels comfortable, as most people do not wear masks in many public places based on its assessment of hospital capacity, according to the Associated Press.
The incidence of COVID-19 in Benton and Franklin counties was already low enough under previous long-standing CDC guidance that the CDC did not recommend masks unless people had symptoms, a positive test, or contact with a person with COVID-19.
Previous recommendations were based on new COVID-19 cases in each county.
New the number of cases of COVID-19 in the three cities The area is falling sharply, on Friday the rate is only half less than it was a week ago.
But Washington Gov. Jay Insley said during a visit to Three City on Tuesday that he had no plans to ease requirements for wearing masks indoors until the previously announced date of March 21st.
According to him then, the number of new cases across the state is still not as low as one would like.
“It’s still a deadly disease,” Insley said. “It still makes our hospitals very clogged.”
Health District Benton Franklin announced the last 17 deaths due to COVID-19 on Friday in the three-city district, although the percentage of patients with COVID-19 in the two counties fell to 5%.
Insley said he had relatives who spent a couple of nights on wheelchairs in the hospital’s emergency department a week before his visit to Three City.
Earlier, Inslee announced that from March 21, face masks will no longer be required nationwide in schools, shops, restaurants, bars and fitness centers.
But in some places this requirement will apply.
Children will not be required to wear masks in class, but the federal public transportation mandate means they must wear face masks on school buses, said Heather Hill, head of infectious disease county health Benton Franklin, speaking at podcast Kadlec on Call Wednesday night.
Masks will also continue to be in demand in other buses, taxis and travel services, despite easing CDC recommendations on Friday.
Healthcare facilities will also require masks, including hospitals, clinics, dental offices and pharmacies, under Requirements of the State of Washington to which Insley had previously stated that it would not affect the planned easing of restrictions on 21 March.
Also, places where a lot of people live in nearby rooms will still require masks. This includes prisons and nursing homes.
This story was originally published Feb. 25, 2022, 5:24 p.m.