King County lifts mask mandate
As of Tuesday, June 29th, King County is lifting its mask mandate as COVID-19 infection rates continue to fall and the number of people vaccinated in the county surpasses 70%.
According to the announcement, with the lifting of the mask directive, fully vaccinated people are now able to go without a mask in most situations, especially indoors. Those still waiting for their full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are directed to follow the masking guidance put in place by the county.
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Since the mask directive was put in place on May 20th, 209,733 residents, ages 16+, have completed their vaccinations, with another 114,970 residents of all ages receiving their first doses. In response, COVID-19 cases have dropped by 69% in King County.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County, had this to say:
“Thanks to highly effective COVID-19 vaccines and decreasing rates of disease in our community at this time, vaccinated people are no longer directed to wear masks in most indoor public settings but may choose to do so at their discretion.”
The county says the lifting of the directive comes two weeks after the county crossed the 70% vaccination threshold for residents 16+ because it takes two weeks after being fully vaccinated to be completely protected.
From the masking guidance, unvaccinated people will need to continue wearing masks in crowded outdoor places and when in public spaces indoors. It is recommended that they avoid crowded indoor spaces and continue to practice social distancing.
The local announcement comes a day before Governor Inslee plans to lift the statewide restrictions on June 30th.