‘Individuals Need To Take Responsibility’ For Wearing Masks, Says Tri-Cities Region Health Officer
Cases of COVID-19 are rising dramatically in Washington’s Yakima County and the Tri-Cities region of Benton and Franklin counties. That’s driving local health officials to urge residents to wear masks in public.
The Yakima Health District’s pleas for residents to wear masks in public – through broadcast and social media – is apparently not enough. Gov. Jay Inslee has promised to step in and make wearing a mask in public mandatory in Yakima County.
It’s to be seen if a similar order is needed in nearby Benton and Franklin counties, where cases are also mounting. Benton-Franklin Health District medical officer Dr. Amy Person says masking mandates have their place but the real solution is for residents to take personal responsibility.
“There’s not enough police, public health, government officials anywhere to ensure that 300,000 people are wearing masks,” Person said Monday in a n’ews media briefing. “Individuals need to take responsibility for the things they’re going to do to try to keep themselves safe and more importantly, the things they’re going to do to try to keep their community safe.”
Yakima County ran out of hospital bed capacity last week, largely due to staff shortages. Person says that for the moment Benton and Franklin counties have beds, but hospitalizations rates for COVID-19 are increasing.
“These are real people who have real illnesses requiring hospitalizations. So when we’re asking people to wear face coverings, this is not to protect you, this is primarily for you to be able to protect others,” Person said.
Idaho Governor Overturns Mask Ban From His Own Lt. Governor, Calls It ‘Self-Serving Political Stunt’
Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Friday issued an executive order repealing a mask mandate prohibition put in place while he was out of the state by the lieutenant governor, describing her actions as a tyrannical abuse of power and an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” Continue Reading Idaho Governor Overturns Mask Ban From His Own Lt. Governor, Calls It ‘Self-Serving Political Stunt’
While acting as governor in Gov. Brad Little’s absence on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued an executive order prohibiting mask mandates issued by the state or its “political subdivisions,” including public schools, counties, cities and public health districts. It also extends to state boards, commissions, departments and divisions. Continue Reading While Governor Is Away, Idaho Lt. Governor Issues Order Banning All Mask Mandates For Schools
As more states shed their universal mask mandates for those who are vaccinated, many Americans are weighing how much faith to put in the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in the integrity of their unvaccinated peers, who are supposed to follow the rules and keep wearing masks. Continue Reading Even With No-Mask Guidance, Some Places Like Washington’s King County Aren’t Ready To Let Go