Wearing a well-fitted mask or respirator helps to protect you and those around you by preventing the spread of COVID-19. When combined with good ventilation, staying current with vaccines, and other precautions, it can reduce the chances of serious illness and the disruptions that COVID-19 causes in our communities.
Secretary of Health Mask Order 20.03.11 rescinded the statewide requirement to wearing a masks effective April 3, 2023.
Local health jurisdictions, health care facilities or providers, school districts, and individual businesses may still choose to require masks. If you are in a setting where COVID-19 safety measures are in place, please follow them. The goal of these safety measures is to protect staff, employees, patients, students, yourself, and others. DOH guidance documents provide additional information on where masks are still required or recommended.
As of April 18, 2022, as a result of a court order, the CDC Order requiring masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. However, masks remain an important tool to keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone. In alignment with CDC, the Washington Department of Health recommends workers and passengers two years of age or older wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings, including both conveyances and transportation hubs.
Even though masks are no longer required in many places, we recommend that individuals wear masks in the following circumstances:
- When indoors in public transportation settings
- When indoors in certain settings when CDC COVID-19 Community Level is medium or high – see COVID-19 Mask Guidance for the list of settings
- Indoors when CDC COVID-19 Community Level is high
- When they have COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19, in accordance with recommendations in What to do if you test positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 Symptom Decision Trees, and What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19
People may want to continue to wear a mask for added protection against COVID-19, especially those who are immunocompromised, living with someone immunocompromised, or who may just feel safer wearing a mask. Everyone should assess their own personal risk when making this decision.
Additionally, everyone should continue to use COVID-19 prevention measures such as staying up to date on vaccination, handwashing, testing, using good ventilation indoors, and staying home when you’re sick.