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Thurston County mandates masks as it moves to Phase 2 of reopening

The county that includes the state capital joins King County in requiring masks for going out. But restaurants and salons can now open with certain restrictions

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A new phase means new rules for residents and business owners in Thurston County.

Barbershops and restaurants can re-open, with cleanliness and capacity restrictions.

However, masks are now supposed to be worn out in public.

Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Diane Yu issued a directive that “all individuals must wear face coverings” when entering public business and when outdoors within six feet of someone who they don’t live with.

“It’s more important than ever that people be cautious, responsible, and considerate of others,” Yu said in a press release. “We want to continue moving forward as a county. Without extra caution, we risk back-sliding.”

Thurston County's directive used similar wording to King County's, where residents were also told earlier this month they must wear masks in public.

RELATED: King County urging people to wear masks in indoor public places

While Yu strongly urged compliance, she said law enforcement will not issue tickets to those who don’t comply with the directive.

Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby said she was relieved to hear about the directive.

“It takes the pressure off businesses so that when they require somebody in the business to wear a mask... they're getting the backing of the public health department,” Selby said.

RELATED: Thurston County votes to apply for Phase 2 of reopening

RELATED: Phases of reopening: Over half of Washington's counties enter Phase 2