OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON, March 21 Washington cancels the mandate for indoor masks.
Gov. Jay Insley made the announcement during a news conference Thursday.
This applies to most indoor facilities, including K-12 schools and children’s institutions. Masks will still be needed in medical facilities such as hospitals, outpatient and dental services, as well as long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.
Washington’s mask mandate was first implemented in June 2020. It was repealed in May 2021 for fully vaccinated people, but was re-implemented in August 2021.
Washington will also cancel vaccine testing for major events starting March 1. Businesses and local authorities may still require vaccinations or face masks for workers or customers. School districts can do the same with students and teachers.
A Guide for K-12 Schools
The Department of Health will release updated instructions for K-12 schools this week on March 7th.
Schools will continue to be required to report cases and outbreaks of COVID-19, and to cooperate with health authorities in responding to these diseases associated with other infectious diseases.
Students and staff with COVID symptoms will still need to be quarantined from school buildings. Schools will also need to provide access to testing for those who have symptoms or who have been exposed.
A guide for employers
It is expected that employers will continue to take steps to assess the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to employees and take steps to minimize those risks. These may include promoting vaccination, improving ventilation, offering masks and encouraging social distancing.
Employers are still required to notify employees of possible exposure if a colleague has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case. Work sites with 50 or more employees will still be required to report to the State Department of Labor and Industry about outbreaks of 10 or more confirmed cases.
Employers should also allow workers to continue wearing masks if they wish.
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