GRANT COUNTY, Wash. — Grant County health officials announced Tuesday that they encourage the continued wearing of masks, even for those who are fully vaccinated.
In a press release, the Grant County Health Officer and the Grant County Health District (GCHD) staff recommended that masks should continue to be worn by everyone in Grant County for at least four more weeks, including by those who are fully vaccinated, in all indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces where distancing cannot be assured.
They said the guidance will be reassessed weekly.
Grant County provided a list of reasons for their recommendation.
They said one reason for the guidance is that their vaccination rate is low, but it is improving. They also said the hospitalization rates remain high and they are concerned for the operations of the ICU for COVID and non-COVID patients. Rates of COVID-19 in Grant County are dropping slowly, but remain above 200 cases per 2 weeks
In addition to those reasons, they said there are cases in the county that have been caused by more infections variants, including B117 (UK), B1429 (California) and P1 (Brazil).
In the press release, they said since there is no practical way to determine who is and who isn't vaccinated, that they encourage the continued use of masks.
This guidance comes after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued new, relaxed guidance for masks and social distancing.
In the press release, they attached a statement that said they are hopeful that cases and hospitalizations will go down.
"We trust that our residents and visitors continue masking and vaccinating. Improving vaccination rates will make removing restrictions and recommendations about masking easier. Please let’s continue our efforts of bringing COVID rates and hospitalization down in Grant County!"
According to the CDC, people are considered to be fully vaccinated after two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.