Commissioners vote to require all employees, visitors to wear masks in county buildings

Posted 7/29/21

All people entering Jefferson County buildings will need to wear face masks, county commissioners decided during a special board meeting Wednesday.

Previously, just those who were not vaccinated …

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Commissioners vote to require all employees, visitors to wear masks in county buildings

Posted

All people entering Jefferson County buildings will need to wear face masks, county commissioners decided during a special board meeting Wednesday.

Previously, just those who were not vaccinated needed to wear protective face masks.

Commissioners also decided to discontinue in-person public meetings and shift back to virtual meetings.

The restrictions went into effect immediately after they were passed Wednesday. An email was sent to employees and signs were posted at county buildings, including the Jefferson County Courthouse in Port Townsend.

County Commissioner Kate Dean, chair of the board of commissioners, said Public Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry — along with seven other health officers in the region — had recommended the use of face masks in indoor settings where the vaccinated status of attendees were unknown.

"We have been scurrying to try to create a new policy, amend our existing temporary policy regarding both employees and visitors to county facilities," Dean said at the start of Wednesday's meeting.

Commissioners discussed a series of changes that were needed at the county courthouse and other county facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The recommendations included requiring unvaccinated employees to wear a mask at all times in county buildings while in public and shared spaces. Vaccinated workers must sign an affidavit stating their fully vaccinated status in order to not wear a mask.

County employees, and members of the public, will be allowed to take their masks off in private meetings at the discretion of the county employee if everyone is vaccinated.

Vaccinated county employees in their private offices will not need to wear a mask. Those without vaccinations who are working alone in a private office must still wear a facial covering.

Employees working outdoors do not have to wear a mask.

Open public meetings for the commissioners in the Jefferson County Courthouse restarted Monday, July 12.

Those in-person meetings proved to be short-lived, however, as the number of COVID-19 infections in Jefferson County have continued to climb due to the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

County health officials reported another five new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, with the total number  hitting 502 confirmed cases.

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Jeff Gallant

Duh !

Thursday, July 29