Number of people wearing masks nearly doubles in Yakima County, survey shows

face masks

YAKIMA, Wash. — Since a directive was issued for Yakima County residents to wear face coverings in public, the number of people who are doing so has nearly doubled, according to a survey.

The Yakima Health District’s Health Officer, Dr. Teresa Everson issued the directive on June 3, in part, based on an earlier survey conducted May 23 and 24 that found only 35% of residents were wearing face coverings in public.

A follow-up survey that observed thousands of residents at 50 retail sites around the county this past weekend, from June 20 to 21, showed a significant improvement.

“In the past 20 days, Yakima County has come together as a community to support the directive, and the safety of the community, to raise the percentage of the population wearing a mask when in public to 65%,” the health district said in a news release.

Health officials said men were seen wearing masks 58% of the time and 71% of women were observed with masks on. They said the amount of public mask usage increased by 85% since Memorial Day weekend.

“Many people who have COVID-19 may not feel ‘sick’ in the early days of contagiousness. Masking is a proven mechanism to slow the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that those who may not realize they’re sick have a barrier over their nose and mouth,” the health district said.

The district said it’s important that masks cover both people’s nose and mouth to prevents droplets from spreading to others while in public.

“We appreciate all of our partners who came together to encourage everyone to ‘Mask up to Open up’ as well as all of our partners who helped to distribute over 300,000 masks throughout Yakima County, this is a resounding achievement from the community,” the health district said.

People who feel sick, for any reason —especially with a fever and cough are asked to stay at home and get tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours.

For testing locations call 2-1-1 or visit