Based on our current downward hospitalization and case rates, our review of CDC’s guidance, and today’s state action, King County’s local indoor mask order will end concurrently with the state’s order–after March 11, 2022. In addition, King County will not be extending a local mask order for schools and childcares beyond the state’s order.

We believe that ending the indoor mask order ten days earlier than the state previously announced will not make a significant difference for our local King County disease trends.

King County is now classified at a “low COVID-19 community level” on CDC’s framework. King County residents have taken strong actions to protect themselves and others, most importantly through vaccination. We will continue to partner with our community to increase the number of people receiving their booster when eligible, which will give us the most protection.

Lifting the indoor mask mandate does not mean COVID is over. The use of high quality, well-fitting masks still make sense in certain settings. It is very reasonable to continue to mask if you are at increased risk, are in contact with someone at high risk, out of consideration for people who may be at higher risk in public settings, or if you want to reduce your own risk for any reason.

We need to be aware that COVID-19 is still circulating and some risk still remains. Layered protections continue to be important, including staying up to date on vaccination and boosters, improving indoor air quality through ventilation and filtration, and for high-risk persons especially, masking and limiting time in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

Originally posted 2/28/22

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