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How health experts recommend you celebrate Memorial Day based on your vaccination status

UPDATED: Fri., May 28, 2021

Spokane Masks’ lilac-patterned face mask.  (Courtesy of Spokane Masks)
Spokane Masks’ lilac-patterned face mask. (Courtesy of Spokane Masks)

Health experts’ advice for the Memorial Day weekend largely boils down to whether a person is fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors and outdoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks, experts say. Fully vaccinated people can also gather with unvaccinated people indoors and outdoors, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that unvaccinated people wear masks.

So far, nearly 50% of Spokane County residents 16 and over have received one shot, but just 34% of the total county population is fully vaccinated, local health officials say.

“It’s a great time to be outside, and it’s really, really safe to meet others outdoors,” Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velázquez told reporters this week.

Fully vaccinated people are allowed to socialize without face coverings, while those who are not are still subject to the statewide mask mandate.

Last year, the summer wave of the virus began two weeks after Memorial Day in Spokane County. Today, virus levels are higher than they ever got at their peak last summer.

Here’s a look at local numbersThe Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 172 new cases on Friday, and 23 of them are backlogged cases from Department of Health data.

There are 73 patients hospitalized with the virus in Spokane.

The Panhandle Health District confirmed 26 new cases on Friday and no additional deaths.

There are 33 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story 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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