In his latest media briefing on the state’s COVID-19 response, Gov. Jay Inslee said more people wearing facial coverings will be key to continuing his phased-in reopening of retail stores.
“Mask up to open up,” Inslee said in underscoring a campaign by a business coalition including Washington Retail to increase use of facial coverings as virus infection rates have climbed in Washington. “We know what works in this fight. Wear face coverings. This is a key to keeping businesses open.”
Inslee said he has been pleased with increased use of face coverings in Yakima County, the hotspot for infections in Washington State. Compliance has risen from a low of 35% weeks ago to 90% this week, Inslee said.
Current levels of face covering compliance statewide will not be enough to reverse infection rates, said Dr. Kathy Lofy, chief health officer of the Washington Department of Health, who joined Inslee in the press conference. She said “almost everyone” in the state will need to participate to reduce current infection rates.
“This is a long fight,” Inslee said. “We’re sort of in the bottom of the third inning (of a nine-inning game).