Updated COVID Risk Levels In WA: See Latest CDC Map

WASHINGTON — Tuesday marked two years since Washington reported its first COVID-19 death, and, according to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

In fact, under new CDC guidelines, more than half of Washingtonians no longer need to wear masks. That said, they’ll have to keep them on indoors until the state decides to lift its indoor mask mandate, which it is set to expire on March 12.

Last week, the CDC revised the system it uses to deem where certain mitigation factors are encouraged. The agency uses hospital bed capacity, hospital admissions, and new COVID-19 cases to determine how high virus levels are in a county.

  • Skagit
  • Snohomish
  • King
  • Kitsap
  • Island
  • Thurston
  • Pacific
  • Lewis
  • Skamania
  • Klickitat
  • Benton
  • Franklin
  • Whitman
  • Asotin

Medium COVID-19 Level Counties:

  • Grays Harbor
  • Mason
  • Clark
  • San Juan
  • Whatcom
  • Yakima
  • Kittitas
  • Ferry
  • Stevens
  • Pend Oreille
  • Lincoln
  • Spokane
  • Adams
  • Walla Walla
  • Columbia
  • Garfield

High COVID-19 Level Counties:

  • Clallam
  • Jefferson
  • Pierce
  • Wahkiakum
  • Cowlitz
  • Okanogan
  • Chelan
  • Douglas
  • Grant

Under state guidance, masks are still required indoors, regardless of community transmission levels. The state’s indoor mask mandate will end March 12. After that, it will be up to local health jurisdictions to determine if indoor masking is necessary, though most have said they will follow the state’s lead and stop requiring masks in gyms, restaurants, bars, businesses, and more.

Under the CDC’s new guidelines, masks aren’t recommended indoors for people in low counties, and they are only recommended in medium counties if you are at elevated risk for severe illness.

Masks are recommended indoors for everyone in communities with high transmission.

Everyone is still being encouraged to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if experiencing symptoms.

Effective Feb. 25, the CDC announced it “does not require wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/childcare programs.” However, federal law means masks will still be required aboard buses and other public transit options, even after the state lifts its mandate.

With reporting from Patch correspondents Justin Heinze, Mike Carraggi and Alexis Tarrazi

Source: Bellevue Patch