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WR joins “Mask Up to Open Up” movement

Washington Retail has joined a coalition of major employers in “Mask Up to Open Up” uniting behind a campaign urging the pubic to wear face masks to save lives and project jobs.

At proper social distancing, chances are very low that two people wearing facial coverings will transmit the infection, according to the Washington Department of Health. But two people not wearing masks who are closer than 6 feet from each other have a very good chance of transmitting the virus including people who have no symptoms related to having the virus.

The business coalition hopes that increased wearing of facial coverings will flatten the rise in COVID-19 cases and thereby enable Governor Inslee’s phased reopening of businesses to continue.

“As retailers across the state are reopening their doors, the need to protect our communities from the spread of the virus has never been more important,” said Renée Sunde, President & CEO of the Washington Retail Association. “Wearing a mask will not only protect your health and that of others but the livelihoods of thousands of employees and small business owners in your community. Beating this disease to reclaim the lives we treasure truly does depend on all of us.”

The business campaign to wear a mask followed a statewide mandatory order to wear a mask in public that went into effect last week. Businesses are required to turn away customers who aren’t wearing facial coverings of their choice.

“We’re doing this because of a spike in cases of COVID-19 all over the state,” Inslee said. “The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shut down the economy.”

Go here to read more details about the Governor’s order regarding facial coverings.

Though the state can levy fines or close a business that doesn’t comply, Inslee has said he is confident that businesses will comply and that there will not be a need for enforcement.

A newly published study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M professor found that not covering your face in public dramatically increases a person’s chance of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.

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