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Kenmore announces local face covering directive effective May 18

Wearing face masks in public places urged

Image credit CDC

Kenmore, WA – May 15, 2020 – The City of Kenmore has announced a local Face Covering Directive similar to the Public Health - Seattle & King County Face Covering Directive, that will go into effect on Monday, May 18.

This proclamation directs all persons and commercial establishments within Kenmore’s boundaries to comply with the Public Health Seattle & King County Directive to wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth in most public settings. Also consistent with the Public Health Directive, the Kenmore directive will educate and strongly encourage individuals to wear a face covering, however there will be no criminal, civil, or financial penalties for failing to wear a face covering in public.

The directive advises residents to wear a face covering at any indoor or outdoor public space where they may be within six feet of someone who does not live in their homes. A face covering is not needed during outdoor activities where six-foot distancing guidelines can be maintained.

Some of the places where face coverings are strongly recommended:

  • Buses, light rail, and other forms of public transportation.

  • Stores that sell food and beverages, including: grocery stores, pharmacies, corner stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, and big box stores that sell groceries.

  • Retail stores, including: convenience stores, pet supply stores, auto supplies and repair shops, hardware and home improvement stores, garden stores that sell supplies for growing food, office supply stores, and home appliance stores.

  • Restaurant take-out and food businesses. Employees who prepare, carry out, and deliver food must wear masks.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Public Health – Seattle & King County directive can be found here.

In order to support and make it easier to comply with this directive locally, the City of Kenmore is giving away a limited supply of disposable face masks. Residents who do not have access to face coverings can pick up a pack of four disposable face masks for free. There will be a no-contact pick up station open on Tuesdays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, and Thursdays from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, at the front entrance of the southwest corner of City Hall beginning Tuesday, March 19.

“We are committed as a community to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Kenmore,” said City Manager Rob Karlinsey. “Adopting a local face covering directive and providing masks to our residents are simple but important steps we can take to keep our neighbors and fellow community members safe.”

Face coverings that can be made from items at home and do not require sewing are perfectly acceptable and help reserve limited medical grade masks and N95 respirators for health care workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information about proper use and care of homemade face coverings and directions for making cloth face coverings with a variety of materials here.

The City of Kenmore recognizes that individual circumstances may affect a person’s decision to wear a face covering. In addition, some people do not need to follow this directive for safety or health reasons; young children under the age of 2, anyone who is deaf and moves their face and mouth to communicate, and anyone who has been advised by a medical professional to not wear a face covering due to personal health reasons.

While face coverings help prevent the spread of infection to others, using a face covering does not replace the need to practice strict physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and avoiding touching of the face.

To find out more about the City of Kenmore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

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