Masks and Face Coverings

This page is being reviewed for updates. The Washington State Department of Health has updated its guidance for what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19. This page may have content that is inconsistent with the new guidance.

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, wearing a mask can reduce the chances of serious illness and the disruptions that COVID-19 causes in our communities.

Local health jurisdictions, health care facilities or providers, school districts, and individual businesses may 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 (PDF) provides additional information on where masks are still required or recommended.

Even though masks are no longer required in many places, we recommend that people ages 2 years and older wear masks in the following circumstances:

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, testing, using good ventilation indoors, and staying home when you’re sick.