Kittitas County issues masking directive

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor

Cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth will be required in Kittitas County beginning May 23. They will be required when indoors, in confined public settings and when unable to maintain six-foot distancing outdoors, as announced in a Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) press release. 

Businesses in Kittitas County are required to post signs advising patrons to wear cloth face coverings.

Some individuals are exempted from the directive, such as children under two years old, deaf individuals, individuals advised by their health provider of health risks related to wearing face masks and individuals who have trouble breathing with a mask or who cannot remove them on their own. Children under 12 years old do not require a mask unless supervised by a guardian. 

“Cloth face coverings may include cloth face masks, scarves, bandanas or other materials recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” the release read.

Cloth face coverings are adequate, and people will not need to wear N95s or similar respirators  to comply with the directive unless directed to do so by their medical provider.

The release cites scientific evidence that wearing cloth face coverings prevents the spread of coronavirus in moisture generated from talking, sneezing, coughing and breathing. When enough people do so, it becomes an effective means of stopping the spread of the virus.