Page updated: Friday May 29, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Starting May 22, 2020, everyone in Whatcom County is directed to wear a face covering while at any indoor or outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you.
Read the full Local Health Officer Directive.
For a summary of the directive please see this info-sheet.
Whatcom County residents are directed to wear face coverings in most public settings. Wear a face covering when you are at any indoor or outdoor public space where you may be within six feet of someone who does not live with you.
Public spaces include:
This directive will expire when the Health Officer determines cloth face coverings are no longer needed in public settings.
Everyone is strongly urged to wear face coverings in public settings unless they are in one of the following groups:
Face coverings are also called cloth masks, face coverings, or face masks. You can use:
Face coverings should fit snugly over your nose and mouth. Do not use medical masks or N95 respirators. These should be saved for healthcare workers and people who have special health needs. The CDC has sew, and no sew, instructions for making your own face covering. If you would rather purchase a face covering there are a variety online retail options.
Learn more about how to appropriately wear a face covering here:
Whatcom Unified Command is working with community organizations to assess the scale of need for masks within vulnerable communities and those who face barriers to obtaining masks, including people experiencing homelessness, older adults, and low-income residents.
A supply of single-use, non-medical masks will likely be purchased and distributed to locally owned businesses and local governments as they reopen. The masks are intended to be used by employees and customers and will be distributed through local Chambers of Commerce or other appropriate business organizations.
Face coverings are an additional tool we can use to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. They protect others by blocking droplets that contain the virus from spreading to others when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
Face coverings do not replace the need for frequent handwashing or social distancing measures.
This directive affects community members who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind in different ways than others. We’ve compiled resources to explain how the directive applies to you if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind.
Resources from Public Health Seattle King County:
Has additional resources for wearing cloth face coverings for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, wear cochlear implants, or glasses are available. From the Center for Hearing and Communication.
Businesses and individuals must continue to follow all existing COVID-19 orders from the Local Health Officer, Governor, or other local, state, or federal regulatory agencies, and any other relevant local, state, or federal civil rights laws.
Businesses are directed to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises.
Coronavirus hazard considerations for non-healthcare employers, including minimum masking requirements for employees, from Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
We strongly urge people to comply with this Directive because it is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, there is no criminal, civil, or financial penalty for failing to wear a face covering in these settings. Violation of this Directive does not create grounds to stop, detain, issue a citation, arrest, or prosecute individuals who do not comply with it.
Law enforcement will not be involved in the enforcement of this directive. This Directive may and should be used to educate and encourage individuals to wear face coverings, and we will evaluate if additional steps need to be taken if there is wide-scale non-compliance.