YAKIMA, WA- Starting Friday everyone in Washington will be required to wear a face mask when in public.
The state Secretary of Health, John Wiesman issued the state-wide face mask order.
Meanwhile Yakima County continues to be the epicenter for COVID-19 in Washington, that's why Governor Jay inslee also issued a proclamation for Yakima County specifically.
Unlike some of the other coronavirus related orders... Those who violate this order could face a fine.
Not wearing a face mask in public can result in a misdemeanor charge. That means, violators can face 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
The Yakima County proclamation adds on the the statewide order by requiring businesses in the county to refuse service to customers without face masks.
"Their licenses can be suspended and if people do not comply with the law then there are civil and non civil penalties that are available including in the thousands of dollars," said Governor Inslee.
Those who don't wear a face mask in Yakima County, could face up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
It is unclear who will enforce the mask order and proclamation, however the Governor's office is working on the details.
When to wear a face mask:
- Public spaces when social distancing is not possible.
- People with health conditions
- Children under the age of 5
- People deaf or hard or hearing
When wearing a mask there are things to keep in mind to make sure they are effective.
Washington Secretary of Health, John Wiesman said "the face covering should fit snugly around the nose. So again in public I've seen people who are wearing face coverings which I'm really excited about."
He added "Sometimes I see people wearing those where their nose isn't covered. You just gotta pull that up and get it over the nose."
Although the face mask order comes from the government, Governor Jay Inslee says this is an individual responsibility.
"When we wear a face masks is a statement that we care enough about other people to protect them from that potential virus that's why it's so important," said Inslee.
Governor Inslee is set to sign the face mask order this Friday.