City of Richland re-instates mask mandate, social distancing recommendations

Image credit: Richland WA Police Department, Facebook

RICHLAND, Wash. — In the midst of another dramatic rise of COVID-19 transmission in the community, the City of Richland has re-instated its indoor mask requirement for all city-run facilities; regardless of vaccination status.

According to an alert posted by the Richland WA Police Department on Facebook, these guidelines will take effect immediately. The decision was attributed to a stark rise in positive COVID-19 cases across the region. They say it is causing a “critical strain” on the city’s healthcare community.

The City of Richland is concerned for the safety of its citizens and employees, per the post. Therefore, it’s requiring that face-masks are worn at all city facilities including Richland City Hall, the Mid-Columbia Library branch, and the community center.

Additionally, all staff, vendors, customers, and visitors are being asked to wear masks when visiting indoor facilities in Richland.

RELATED: More than 100 hospitalized with COVID-19 as Tri-Cities add 639 new cases

Back in May, as COVID-19 vaccinations ramped up with greater availability across the Tri-Cities, the City of Richland lifted its mask requirement for vaccinated city workers. Later on, mask mandates were lifted state-wide for unvaccinated citizens.

However, the Tri-Cities are at great risk during another coronavirus influx. Per the Washington Department of Health (DOH), Franklin County has the worst 14-day COVID-19 case rate in the entire state of Washington (1,043.8). Benton County follows shortly after at No. 2 on the list with a case rate of 927.6.

For reference, the third-worst case rate in Washington belongs to Cowlitz county, which has a case rate that is 135.7 cases per 100,000 less than Benton County’s.

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