King County Councilmember: ‘Back and forth’ of mask rules is confusing

May 20, 2021, 2:03 PM
mask rules...
A clothing store window reads 'MASK required upon entering the store' in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Prior to the directive from Public Health — Seattle & King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin that was released Thursday urging all residents, vaccinated or not, to keep wearing masks indoors, local leaders knew that updated mask rules for the county would be coming this week.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert spoke to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH about the direction it seemed the county was heading toward.

“I think that things have changed so rapidly and inconsistently that people are just frustrated and I think that if people feel comfortable to wear a mask, I know that I can wear mine with the bridge underneath that keeps it from getting into my nose, and I feel comfortable that I don’t make other people uncomfortable. But once I get into a room and if people tell me that they have been vaccinated, I’m like, ‘OK, let’s do it,'” she said.

“So I think it’s very difficult when we know we’re on the countdown, it’s hard to be patient,” she added. “And I wish that things hadn’t flip flopped so much.”

Between the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state-level mask rules that still require a face mask to be worn at health care settings and on public transportation, to now a separate rule for King County, Lambert says it’s become confusing.

“It’s very confusing to get out and think, OK, is this the place I do [wear a mask]? Is this the place I don’t? So I think that’s part of the problem,” she said. “I think if [Gov. Inslee] would say, ‘OK, we’re just down to medical and that’s where people are most vulnerable.’ People can go, ‘OK, I get that. I don’t want to hurt somebody that’s vulnerable because they’re already at the doctor’s office.'”

“But this back and forth and you can here and you can’t there,” she said is the most frustrating part.

Rantz: Seattle Public Health says masks for vaccinated but also heroin needles for anyone

Lambert also pointed out that individual businesses in Washington still have the right to require masks, though that can be a burden on business owners and employees.

“I don’t know too many business owners that want to be at the front door saying you can’t come in without your mask,” she said. “And so a lot of things have been put on businesses and on citizens that I think in hindsight could be done better.”

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King County Councilmember: ‘Back and forth’ of mask rules is confusing