Yakima Health District rescinds masking order, will follow state’s lead

Yakima Mass Vaccination Clinic State Fair Park
Credit: Emily Goodell, KAPP-KVEW

YAKIMA, Wash. – Local health officials in Yakima County have made the difficult decision to rescind the local masking order due to confusion over whose rules to follow.

According to a press release issued by the Yakima Health District, public health officials in the region decided to follow guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Gov. Jay Inslee regarding masks for vaccinated people. However, they cited confusion amongst locals regarding what those masking rules actually are.

As a result, Interim Health Officer Larry Jecha decided to rescind Yakima’s local masking order on Monday. He did so by issuing the following memo:

I have rescinded the local masking order to ensure there is no confusion in Yakima County and that there is clear and consistent guidance at the local and state level. Yakima County will continue to follow state and federal masking guidance. Please refer to Governor Inslee’s amended Proclamation 20-25.13, signed on May 21, 2021 and the Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03.2, issued on May 15, 2021.

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Under these state-level proclamations, fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to go without masks to public places. However, business owners are allowed to enforce mask requirements in their place of business if they feel inclined to do so. Yakima Health District officials would like to remind the community that fully vaccinated people are still required to wear their masks in specified settings. Those include healthcare settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools and public transportation.

Yakima residents who haven’t been vaccinated are required to follow the same social distancing and masking requirements as they have throughout the pandemic. If you or a loved one would like to be vaccinated in Yakima County, click here for more information.

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