FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2020
Media Contact: Amy Cloud, Whatcom Unified Command PIO
Phone: (360) 318-4356
E-mail address: WUC_JIC@co.whatcom.wa.us
WCHD Statement re: State Face Covering Requirement
BELLINGHAM, WA – Today the Washington State Secretary of the Health issued a public health order that requires everyone to wear face coverings while in public. The requirement is in effect as of Friday, June 26.
“We know it may be disturbing to some in our community who do not routinely wear face coverings. We’d hoped that many people would choose to wear masks voluntarily, because they work to protect others and keep the virus from spreading,” says Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County Health Officer.
“However, we also know from years of public health practice that mandates work to encourage people to adopt healthy behaviors. When we look at seat belt use or texting and driving or the reduction in smoking - mandates all had a big role in promoting healthy habits.”
“How soon we can move out of Phase 2 – more importantly how well we protect our friends and neighbors from COVID-19 – depends on our individual choices about mask use and safe behavior. In the absence of a cure or vaccine, masks, hand-washing and sanitation, and physical distancing are currently the only known effective barriers to the spread of COVID-19.”
For now, Whatcom County is not ready to move to Phase 3. Increased mask use will help us get there.
More information about the new Washington State requirement for cloth face coverings can be found at https://www.doh.wa.gov/masks.
This information is also available as a PDF.