Masks: On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee announced a new statewide indoor mask mandate in response to the rising COVID19 hospitalization rates across the state. The mandate applies to everyone regardless of their vaccination status. The mandate will take effect Monday, August 23, 2021.

The mask mandate will apply to most indoor public places including but not limited to restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public-facing offices. There will be a couple exceptions to the mandate where masks are not required, such as:

  • Office spaces not easily accessible to the public where individuals are vaccinated.
  • When working alone indoors or in a vehicle with no public face-to-face interaction.
  • Small private indoor gatherings where all attendees are vaccinated will also be exempt.

In most instances, if you are in an indoor space open to the public, the mask mandate will apply.

Vaccinations: Also announced on August 18, 2021, is that teachers, school staff, employees of higher education institutions, and most childcare and early learning providers will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021. Just as with the state worker mandate, there will be limited exceptions under the law, including for legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs.

The proclamations for these mandates have not been released yet. More detailed information can currently be found on the Governor’s Medium page. If you have questions on mask requirements at your business or government agency, please contact Allison M. Beard at or 360-671-1796.