Gov. Inslee announces statewide ‘no mask, no service’ order, two-week pause on move to next phase


OLYMPIA, Wash. — During a press conference Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that a statewide “no mask, no service” order will soon go into effect.

The order will legally require businesses to refuse service to anyone who does not wear a face covering inside their establishment. Exceptions apply for young children and people with certain health issues or disabilities.

Inslee said he will be signing a proclamation before the order goes into effect later this month. He described face coverings as effective, inexpensive and virtually universal tools for slowing the spread of the coronavirus in Washington state.

The governor already announced such an order for coronavirus hotspot Yakima County. Health leaders announced a similar order for Benton and Franklin counties, which is slated to go in effect Monday.

In addition, Inslee ordered a two-week pause on all counties’ current phases.

State Health Secretary John Weisman noted that more than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported Wednesday, the highest single-day total, and that number is likely to exceed 700 on Thursday.

Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties are the only three counties in the state that remain in Phase 1 of reopening.