Who likes wearing a mask? I do it for my safety and for the safety of others. On Thursday all of Washington's top health officers signed a joint statement urging people to wear masks indoors in public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

The health officers representing 35 local health jurisdictions believe that masking up will reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers.

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According to the statement, wearing masks in indoor settings will:

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 Benton-Franklin Health District is encouraging the use of masks indoors as coronavirus patients are overcrowding local hospitals.

Health Officer Dr. Amy Person linked Pendleton's Whisky Festival and other events to the rise in COVID cases locally.

Meanwhile, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has mandated masks for all students in the state when they return to classrooms this fall.

Also, with the surging Delta variant, Inslee has mandated that most state employees and health care workers are to get vaccinated or find another job.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Workers are to be fully vaccinated by October 18th.

The Governor has previously recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status to wear a mask in indoor public settings.

Some businesses have opted to mask up already, including a local coffee shop. Some businesses may require proof of vaccination. Nationally, beginning October 1st, proof of vaccination will be required at AEG live events. The new requirement will affect festivals including Stagecoach and Coachella.

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