Submitted by Lewis County
In March 2020, individuals had to begin quarantining and taking precautions against COVID-19. Now, two years later, Lewis County approaches the time where masking is no longer mandated in many instances.
As the clock changes from 11:59 p.m. Friday to 12:00 a.m. Saturday, March 12, the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the departments and guests falling under the BOCC, as well as many of the other elected officials’ offices, will begin operating with the eased mask restrictions.
This means that the public interacting with BOCC departments, as well as employees under the BOCC, will not be required to wear masks when entering applicable county buildings. Signs denoting mask requirements will be removed from applicable Lewis County facilities. Other elected offices may choose to follow this guidance or adopt their own policies equal to, or more restrictive than, this policy.
The updated guidance from Washington State Labor & Industries (L&I) will continue to require the use of masks or respirators in correctional facilities, which will impact that portion of the county facilities. L&I is also slated to publish more detailed information soon.
Lewis County recognizes that some employees and members of the public may still want to wear masks, and that optional decision is still available to those that choose to, or have a need to, wear their mask.
“I know that many individuals are excited to take their mask off, and as our Public Health and Social Services Director said earlier this week, I too am excited to see people’s smiling faces when I come into work on Monday,” said County Manager Erik Martin. “My hope is that the lifting of this portion of the mandate is a signal from health officials that the worst of the pandemic is over.”