Masking requirements in healthcare, long-term care, and correctional facilities to end April 3

Effective April 3, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will end the Secretary of Health Mask Order, which currently requires universal masking in healthcare, long-term care, and adult correctional facilities for people age 5 and older.
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COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue downward trend nationwide

Effective April 3, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will end the Secretary of Health Mask Order, which currently requires universal masking in healthcare, long-term care, and adult correctional facilities for people age 5 and older.

In Washington, COVID-19, RSV, and influenza disease rates and hospitalizations have continued to decline since the end of last year. The end of Washington’s universal masking requirements aligns with a similar announcement made today by the state of Oregon.

DOH infection prevention and control guidance continues to recommend masks for patients, healthcare providers, and visitors in healthcare settings. Licensed healthcare facilities are required to have infection prevention policies and programs consistent with CDC guidance.

Several worker protection requirements enforced by the state’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) remain in effect, including that employees and contractors may choose to use facemasks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job without employer retaliation. Additionally, under the state Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) rules, several key worker protections remain in place until the federal pandemic response declaration ends May 11.

The current Secretary of Health Mask Order will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 2. Local or tribal governments, facilities, and providers may choose to continue to require masks in these or other settings.

DOH will continue to issue and update COVID prevention guidance for the public and key sectors, including the use of masks, vaccines, ventilation, and other preventive measures to inform individuals, families, communities, and health leaders on how to stay healthier from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection

Information provided by Washington State Department of Health.


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Melissa
Melissa
18 days ago

The idea that face masks were making a difference in covid spread went out the window during omicron. And the Jan 2023 Cochrane review of high-quality, peer-reviewed mask studies showing lack of effectiveness put the final nail in the covid mask coffin. Masks were never effective against covid. The jig is up, Public Health!
https://www.cochrane.org/CD006207/ARI_do-physical-measures-such-hand-washing-or-wearing-masks-stop-or-slow-down-spread-respiratory-viruses

Sylvia
Sylvia
18 days ago
Reply to  Melissa

Great factual post!

Masks may protect from droplets, but at the same time they collect the CO2 that we exhale.
Viruses go straight through masks, simply because of their size! No doubt you are very well aware of this.

Viruses are airborne and enter via our nostrils, eg through inhalation. Strange that health authorities avoid any and all mention of the ‘immune system’ and, in particular, ‘mucosal immunity’.

Let’s hope that your post helps wake up many more sleep-walkers!

Dave Roberts
Dave Roberts
17 days ago

Finally. It will be in interesting how many will still walk around or better yet drive drive alone in a car while wearing a mask that NEVER worked in the first place. Every one that participated in the charade needs to be held accountable.

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