The State of Washington requires everyone to wear a mask when in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when you can’t maintain a 6′ distance. In addition, the Governor has ordered businesses “to require and enforce the use of face coverings by all customers or visitors.”
- Washington State’s Coronavirus Response Face Mask page
- Pierce County Health Department’s blog: Our Grip on Phase 2 Is Slipping
What about enforcement?
Just a quick reminder that the State asks that if/when you see someone without a mask in public to stay 6′ away but not say anything as some people do have medical exemptions (External link). As to our Police Department, we follow the answer that came from Washington State Patrol and can’t improve on it:
Washington law enforcement agencies continue to focus on education and engagement regarding state orders related to the coronavirus crisis. The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure; it is not a mandate for law enforcement to detain, cite or arrest violators but rather an evidence-based and safety focused directive meant to slow the spread of a potentially deadly disease.
WSP will continue to communicate with and encourage all Washingtonians to to make safety-focused decisions and follow all health-based directives from the Governor as well as state and local health officials.
Together, we will continue to address the very real public health threat of COVID 19, as we also work to safely reopen our economic, social and civic systems.
We trust our residents, businesses, elected leaders, health officials, and each other to do what is necessary during this unique time of shared medical vulnerability and gradual return to social and economic normalcy.
What if I see a business still serving someone without a face mask?
All of the previous answer still applies. In addition, you have the option to report the business and potential violation directly to the State using this online form.
If you are a business and need additional resources to help your customers comply, the State also offers a Business Signage Toolkit with a variety of PDF posters already designed to help encourage good behavior.
What about wearing masks and CPLs?
It is legal for the holder of a valid CPL to carry a pistol concealed on their person while wearing a face mask. Many residents have referenced concerns stemming from WAC 516-52-020. This WAC only applies to Western Washington University and does not apply to the entire state of Washington.
Many residents have also referenced recent news stories from other states that do have specific prohibitions on concealed carry and mask wearing; however, the State of Washington does not have this prohibition.