Now that the mask mandate has been lifted, we’ve heard a lot of questions in the community about whether or not to keep wearing masks, so we’ve created a risk gauge to help inform that decision. You may want to consider COVID-19 transmission in your community when considering whether or not to wear a mask. That tells you the probability that anyone in a given room has COVID-19.
When case rates are high (>100/100,000 residents) it’s a good idea to keep masking in indoor settings to protect yourself and others.
When case rates fall below 100 per 100,000 it is safer for most people to begin unmasking in indoor spaces.
For those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or those with household members at high risk, recommend continuing to wear masks until case rates are very low (<50/100,000).
As of today, March 16th Pacific County case rate is 97 which puts us in the LOW category.
Remember when the mask mandate is lifted on March 11th, masking is still required for staff and visitors in the following high-risk areas:
-Healthcare and medical facilities
-Long-term care settings
-Public transit, taxis, and rideshare vehicles
-Private businesses and local governments that want to require masks for their employees, customers or residents
-Private businesses can still require masks or proof of vaccination if they choose. Many individuals will choose to continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons. Please be kind, compassionate and respect the rules of the room.
Wearing a mask when COVID-19 case rates are high is an act of community. It offers protection not just for yourself but for those vulnerable members of our society around you. Let us keep practicing the care and compassion for our neighbors that has gotten us this far in the pandemic. As a reminder, high quality N95 masks are available free of charge for those who live or work in Pacific County. Pick yours up today at any Pacific County based Timberland regional library or either health dept location!
For more information on how case rates and transmission levels are calculated, follow the link here: https://www.cdc.gov/.../201.../science/community-levels.html
Updated School Guidance
Updated school guidance from Washington State Department of Health:
“A student, child, or staff who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status. The isolation period is 10 full days from the start of symptoms or the date of positive test.
The individual may return to school/care after 5 full days of isolation if:
• Their symptoms have improved or they are asymptomatic, AND
• They are without a fever for the past 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications.
AND IF returning to school/care days 6-10, the individual is required to:
• Wear a well-fitted mask or face shield with a drape during days 6-10 of their isolation period, consistent with CDC guidance, OR
• Test negative with an antigen or at-home test any day after day 5 before returning without a mask. Testing beyond day 10 is not necessary.
If the individual is not able to wear a well-fitted mask or face shield with a drape, AND does not test negative, they are required to continue isolating through the end of their isolation period”.
Complete info at doh.wa.gov/masks