Effective Monday, August 23, 2021, in accordance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 20-25, Washington Ready, everyone, regardless of vaccination status must wear face coverings/masks covering their nose and mouth in most indoor settings.

Every person in Washington State must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are in a place where any person from outside their household is present or in a place that is generally accessible to any person from outside their household, subject to the exceptions and exemptions found within 20-03.4.


Commonly Asked Questions

I am in a shared workspace. Do I have to wear a face covering/mask at my desk?

Vaccinated employees with shared workspaces and/or cubicles not easily accessible to the public may remove their face coverings when at their individual workstations.

View the EH&S COVID-19 Work Plan for additional information.

If I have a private office do I need to wear a face covering/mask?

If you are in a private office/space you do not need to wear your face covering/mask when you are alone.

Examples include a sole occupant in an office with a closed door who is unlikely to be visited, a vehicle operator isolated in an enclosed cab, delivery drivers with no face-to-face interaction with others when picking up or dropping off packages or a lone custodian in a building.

Our office is not open to the public. Do we need to wear masks?

For areas with restricted access, vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings in their areas, unless interacting with others whose vaccination status is unknown.

Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear face coverings indoors.

Do I have to wear a face covering/mask in a university vehicle?

For vehicles being used as public transportation, face coverings must be worn. Otherwise, if all occupants of a vehicle are vaccinated, or if a person is alone in a vehicle, face coverings are not required.

If any occupant is unvaccinated, all occupants must wear face coverings and either roll down windows or operate the vehicle ventilation system at maximum output (not in recirculation mode).

Do I have to wear a face covering/mask if I am operating a vehicle with no passengers?

No.

Can I remove my face covering/mask to eat/drink?

Yes.

Can I remove my face covering/mask in breakrooms?

Fully vaccinated persons may remove their face coverings and use breakrooms when other fully vaccinated persons are in the shared space.

Unvaccinated people should continue alternating break schedules to allow for distancing or eat in alternate locations.

Can instructors remove their face coverings/masks to teach?

Per EH&S guidance, vaccinated instructors are permitted to remove their face coverings to teach, provided they maintain 6 feet of distance from their class OR instruct behind a plexiglass barrier.

Unvaccinated instructors must wear a face covering when teaching. The face covering/mask must fit snugly and completely cover both the nose and mouth.

What are my options if I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a traditional face covering/mask?

If you have a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental or cognitive condition, or disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering, please contact HRS Disability Services at hrs.disabilityservices@wsu.edu, to review available WSU programs and what alternate work and leave options may be available for you.

Outdoor Face Covering/Mask Guidelines

When outdoors, face coverings are optional regardless of vaccination status. However, a face covering/mask is strongly recommended when in outdoor crowded settings and in settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others.

Additional Information

WA Department of Health | Secretary of Health Order 20-03 Statewide Face Coverings

WSU COVID-19 Recovery Guidance

Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Work Plan

Please note, employees must continue to adhere to the State of WA Local Health Districts where their WSU worksite is located, which may have more stringent requirements or recommendations.


The university reserves the right to modify this information at any time in accordance with changing public health directives, best practices, and/or university needs.

Updated 9/16/2021