Washington issues statewide mask requirement

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wears a face mask as he arrives to speak at a news conference, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. With nine new coronavirus cases reported in Whitman County on Friday, the county falls in the “high-risk category for in-person classes” as defined by the Washington State Department of Health and Inslee.

Ten positive cases of COVID-19 were reported Friday on the Palouse.

Whitman County reported nine cases, bringing the total to 114 cases, including 42 in the last two weeks, according to a Whitman County Public Health news release.

With Friday’s cases, the county falls in the “high-risk category for in-person classes” as defined by the Washington State Department of Health and Gov. Jay Inslee, according to the release.

High-risk counties are defined by more than 75 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, according to the governor’s website. The website said distance learning and canceling or postponing all in-person extracurricular activities are strongly recommended in high-risk counties.

The county has had 84 new cases per 100,000 people the last two weeks. Moderate risk means 75 or fewer cases per 100,000 people. Whitman County’s population of about 50,000 equates to roughly 19 new cases a week to be moderate risk, the release stated.

“We need the assistance of every member of our community in reducing the viral activity in Whitman County to a level that will support in-person education,” the release said. “It is critical to that end, that each person practice social distancing, wear a mask and regularly wash their hands to continue protecting our communities and to work together towards a safer, healthier county.”

Of the nine Whitman County cases reported Friday, two are women between the ages of 0 and 19, four are women between 20 and 39, one is a woman 40 to 59, one is a man 0 to 19 and another one is a man 60 to 79. All are stable and self-isolating, a separate release indicated Friday.

The release said 37 percent of the county’s overall cases are non-Pullman residents.

Two of the 114 cases have been hospitalized but none are currently hospitalized.

In Idaho, Public Health-Idaho North Central District reported one new case in Latah County, bringing the total to 93 confirmed and eight probable cases in the county. There were 73 confirmed cases this time last week in Latah County.

There have been no deaths in Whitman or Latah counties.

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