Face Coverings
Overview FAQ

We are currently working to update face covering-related guidance on our website to match recent CDC guidance. Thank you for you patience.

Updated July 28, 2021

People can spread COVID-19 even when they don’t have symptoms or know that they are sick. Wearing a face covering and practicing physical distancing prevents the spread of COVID-19. As more people in Washington receive COVID-19 vaccines, which have been shown to be very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, it has become possible to modify face covering guidance for individuals who are vaccinated.

If You Are Fully Vaccinated

The effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines has made it possible for the state to ease masking guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask in most situations. A person is considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna)
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)

Until two weeks have passed after a final dose, a person is not considered protected and should continue to wear a mask and follow CDC prevention measures.

Respect the Rules of the Room

Counties and businesses have the right to independently set rules and regulations for face covering use in response to local transmission levels. If you are asked to wear a mask in places of business, please respect the rules put in place by that establishment.

If You Are Not Vaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must continue to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing in Washington state. See the following sections for general and workplace guidance.

May 21, 2021 Update:

Gov. Inslee updated the Healthy Washington proclamation and announced the Safe Workers proclamation. See the press release for more information along with associated facial covering guidance for employers and businesses.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries also provided guidance on mask usage and distancing in the workplace. See the following section for additional details.

Mandates, Orders and Local Health Officer Directives

General Public Order

This order from the Washington state secretary of health requires Washingtonians to wear a face covering when in public spaces, with some exceptions. This has been updated to reflect guidance from the CDC. (Updated May 15, 2021)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Order

This order requires that travelers wear face coverings on all public transportation including, but not limited to airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride shares.

Workplace Order

Washington employers and employees should continue following workplace guidance for masks and respirators from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). This has been updated to reflect guidance from the CDC. (Updated May 21, 2021)

Local Directives

On May 20, 2020, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) Health Officer issued a local health officer directive strongly recommending that Spokane County residents wear cloth face coverings. This directive is still in place. It does not reduce or eliminate requirements imposed by directives and orders from the governor or other regulatory local, state or federal agencies, including employer-specific directives from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. If any guidance provided by the local health officer directive is in conflict with the secretary of health order, the more protective requirement must be followed.