Health officers: Unvaccinated should keep wearing mask

Although most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, unvaccinated and high-risk residents still are urged to continue to wear face masks in indoor spaces with other people.

While Jefferson County’s masking mandate has been rescinded, the state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah’s order regarding unvaccinated residents to wear masks in indoor spaces, businesses and workplaces remains in effect across the state.

Both Jefferson and Clallam counties have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, and Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke associated that with people embracing the removal of restrictions before they were officially ended Wednesday.

“We’re anticipating that more unvaccinated people will be getting together with other unvaccinated people in indoor settings,” he said. “I support the changes, I think they’re the right way to go. However, people should not interpret it as the pandemic is over or the threat has passed.

“The truth is, the threat has only passed for those who are vaccinated.

“The threat for those who are unvaccinated is only increasing because the opportunities to be exposed are increasing and how infectious the virus you may be exposed to is also increasing,” he continued.

“People who are susceptible to infection should still protect themselves from being exposed to it.”

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