Governor’s office, WSU to lift indoor mask mandate March 12

Low case counts, hospitalizations on West Coast led Washington, Oregon, California to lift mask mandates

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

Indoor mask requirements will be lifted in the state of Washington — and on all WSU campuses — on March 12.

Masks will no longer be required in most WSU facilities, including classrooms, residence halls, dining facilities and recreation centers, according to a system-wide email.

This change comes as a result of declining COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations along the West Coast, according to a press release from Gov. Jay Inslee. Washington will lift its mask mandate simultaneously with Oregon and California, over a week earlier than the governor’s office initially planned.

“While this represents another step forward for Washingtonians, we must still be mindful that many within our communities remain vulnerable,” Inslee wrote in the press release. “Many businesses and families will continue choosing to wear masks, because we’ve learned how effective they are at keeping one another safe.”

Masks will now be recommended instead of required in public schools, according to the press release. New guidelines for schools will be issued next week.

Masks will still be required in certain settings, including health care facilities like Cougar Health Services and counseling centers, long-term care and correctional facilities. Additionally, federal law still requires masks on public transit, according to the press release.