For those of you who live or work in King County, please be aware that the King County Local Health Officer has issued a new Directive regarding mask wearing, effective immediately on May 20, 2021. The key parts of the Directive state as follows:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, as Local Health Officer I hereby DIRECT as follows:


Everyone 5-years of age and older in King County should continue to wear a face covering within indoor public spaces, unless a state-approved method is used to assure that all people allowed inside have been fully vaccinated. Everyone in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools, public transportation, and certain health care settings, including doctor’s offices, long-term care, and hospitals must also wear a well-fitted mask 3 and adhere to guidance from the Washington State Department of Health.

This DIRECTIVE applies to indoor spaces that are open to the public, including retail, grocery stores, government buildings, and other businesses and places where members of the public can enter freely; it does not apply to indoor non-public spaces, including businesses, offices, and other places of employment with limited access. Employers should continue to follow current guidance and requirements from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries on worker safety.

This DIRECTIVE also does not apply to outdoor places. Please follow current Washington State Department of Health guidance and directives on the use of masks outdoors.

I strongly recommend and urge all people in King County to voluntarily comply with this DIRECTIVE, and for all businesses that are open to the public, including grocery and other retail establishments, to continue implementing policies and practices to ensure that their customers and employees wear face masks.

This DIRECTIVE will remain in effect until Public Health – Seattle & King County confirms that 70% or more of adults age 16-years of age and older are fully vaccinated against CoV-19 with currently authorized vaccines. Signed and ordered this 20th day of May 2021

The full Directive can be found online at

This post is not legal advice, and should not be relied on, especially since the information in it is subject to change without notice at any time. For more information, contact Karen Sutherland at

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