Wearing a surgical mask in an indoor public setting reduces the odds of testing positive for COVID-19 by 66%, and wearing an N95/KN95 type of mask lowers the odds of testing positive by 83%.
In addition to RSV and influenza, new COVID-19 variants are taking hold and immunity from past vaccination is waning for many people who have not yet received an updated booster shot.
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is higher than a month ago, both within schools and in the community. That’s why Public Health has been recommending wearing masks in indoor public settings and other prevention measures, particularly since we reached the Medium Community Level.
Starting Saturday, March 12, King County will stop requiring masks in many indoor public spaces. Individuals will now be able to make their own choices as to whether they want to continue wearing masks, and businesses may decide whether they want to require employees and customers to wear masks. In practice, what does this mean for you?
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia require everyone to wear masks in K-12 schools. Six states prohibit any such requirement, and 24 states leave the decision up to local school districts. Two states have had mask mandate bans overturned, and Florida had an overturned ban reinstated.
This requirement applies to all people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, 5 years of age and older.
CDC’s reversal on mask recommendations led to more disagreement between Republican and Democratic politicians over masks and other pandemic-related public health precautions.
Given the high mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in schools and the fact that vaccines are not available to children younger than 12, universal masking will be required in all K-12 schools.
COVID-19 rates are increasing across the region largely due to the spread of the more contagious delta variant.
Masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, yet masking policies in the West have featured some spectacular policy wrong turns.
Unvaccinated people will need to continue wearing masks in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces.
Best practices for children of all ages.
More than 85% of observed King County residents masked up in public, UW researchers find in partnership with King County and the Washington State Department of Health
Here are three tips that might help make face coverings part of your routine.
Cloth Face Coverings: The Dos and Don’ts of wearing them – Tips from the Washington State Department of Health