The Snohomish County Health Department has issued a new mask mandate, effective tomorrow, August 12, 2021, for everyone.  All persons over the age of four are now required to wear masks for indoor activities accessible to everyone.  This includes restaurants, all retail (including grocery and drug stores, hardware stores, and yes, Costco, Home Dept, Lowes and anywhere where the public goes).

Currently, it does not apply to indoor non-public spaces, including businesses, offices, and other places of employment with limited access. Employers in those settings should continue to follow protocols from  Washington Department of Labor and Industries COVID Guidance.

“I strongly urge all people in Snohomish County to voluntarily comply with this directive, and likewise direct all businesses that are open to the public to continue implementing policies and practices to ensure that their customers and employees wear face masks,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “We need everyone to take these steps in order to protect the health of our neighbors, customers, workers, and families.”

“Last week we had more than 600 close contacts identified in childcare facilities alone, and at least 15 long-term care facilities currently have at least one confirmed case,” noted Dr. Spitters. “We’ve also seen our testing sites around the county see some of the highest volumes and positivity rates to date. Our situation is quite alarming, and we must act now.”

After a couple of months of welcomed “freedom”, the COVID Delta Variant is beginning to wreak havoc on our communities once again.  Delta is more highly transmissible than the original strain that caused a global pandemic and shutdown.

Our neighbors in Skagit and Island Counties have thus far not issued a new mandate but may not be far behind.

To avoid a return to the brutal lockdowns we endured over the past year and a half, it is critical that everyone do their part.  For the full text of the new directive from Snohomish County visit Snohomish County Health Directive