Saturday is a day of liberation for many people in Washington State. Starting Saturday, March 12 face masks will no longer be a requirement in many indoor settings in the state. That means masks won't be needed in department stores, K-12 schools, restaurants, gyms and grocery stores.

Don't throw that mask away you could need it in the future

Keep the masks handy however because you'll still need a mask in specific places in Washington State. The Washington State Department of Health says after March 12 masks will still be required in medical facilities, taxis and ride-hailing services,
long-term care facilities and public transit.

There may still be some private businesses that will require a face mask

But remember the state is allowing private businesses and local governments to still require masks. In Yakima however there's no plan by city or county officials to continue the mask requirement. State officials say many individuals will likely continue wearing a mask for added protection from COVID-19 but that will be a personal decision not a result of a mask mandate.

Why isn't the mask mandate for indoors lifted already?

Some states like California, New Jersey and New York have already lifted indoor mask mandates. Governor Jay Inslee says Washington State is one of the last because other states saw an earlier rise in cases. Cases in Washington State came later than those in other states which is why the governor says he waited longer to lift the indoor mask mandate in Washington State.

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