Starting May 18, King County residents will be strongly urged to wear face coverings while in most public settings.
King County Public Health announced the mandate on Monday, saying that all residents should wear a face covering when in a public or confined space where you may be within six feet of someone who doesn’t live with you.
Public Health says a covering isn’t needed when exercising outdoors, but only if you are able to consistently stay six feet away from other people.
They ask that people use or make cloth coverings, such as bandanas or scarves, instead of using surgical masks or N95 respirators, which are most useful for healthcare workers.
King County is distributing 115,000 face coverings and masks through community-based organizations, and the City of Seattle is working with organizations to distribute over 45,000 cloth face coverings to vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, older adults, and staff at food banks.
Here are some guidelines from officials:
- Your mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before you put on a face covering and after removing it.
- Change your face covering when it gets moist.
- Wash your face covering after each use.
For more information, visit King County’s website about the directive.