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News >  Washington

Washington health officers recommend masks indoors if you don’t know others’ vaccination status

Aug. 12, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 12, 2021 at 9:36 p.m.

Local health officers, representing all counties in Washington, are asking residents to wear masks indoors in some settings, regardless of vaccination status.

As hospitalization and COVID cases surge due to the spread of the delta variant, health officials are asking that people wear masks to help slow the spread of the virus.

“We recommend all residents wear facial coverings when in indoor public settings where the vaccination status of those around you is unknown,” a joint statement from the state’s health officers says. “This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.”

Local health officers are also asking that residents get vaccinated to help slow the spread of the virus.

In Washington, 70.7% of the population 12 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but several counties have much lower vaccination rates.

In Spokane County, 56.2% of eligible residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Every county in Washington has high or substantial transmission of the virus currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In other COVID news, MultiCare followed other hospitals in the Inland Northwest Thursday in restricting visitation in its hospitals due to the surge in COVID-19 patients.

In MultiCare Deaconess and Valley hospitals, non-COVID patients will be permitted just one visitor, with the exception of patients in the birth centers, who get two support people for labor and birth.

Here’s a look at local numbers:

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 230 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and no additional deaths.

There are 127 patients hospitalized in Spokane County.

The Panhandle Health District confirmed 123 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths.

There are 74 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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