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