CHELAN-DOUGLAS HEALTH DISTRICT (CDHD) STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF “MASKING-UP” AS COVID-19 CASES INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY

Positive cases increase 37% since partial reopening on June 10, 2020

July 2, 2020

EAST WENATCHEE – “Masking up is the next best thing to a vaccine right now,” urges Chelan-Douglas Health Officer Dr. Malcolm Butler. “The Governor’s decision to require everyone to wear a face mask in public, especially when social distancing of 6 feet isn’t possible, was the right call,” Butler added. Chelan-Douglas Counties are seeing a significant up-tick in new COVID-19 positive cases.

In an effort to identify the prevalence of mask-wearing in Chelan and Douglas county retail outlets, CDHD began spot checks to do physical counts of mask-wearing for both retail business employees and customers. The first week of data-gathering revealed:


The data was collected at nine retail stores in Wenatchee and six stores in East Wenatchee. The surveys were done prior to the Governor’s June 26 masking requirement. CDHD will continue to survey businesses throughout the two counties to determine the amount of compliance there is with the masking effort and to pinpoint ways to increase education and outreach efforts about the need for masking when in public.

“It’s the air you share,” Dr. Butler added. “We have got to get a handle on the spread of COVID-19 – not only to be able to move fully into Phase 2 of the State’s Safe Start reopening plan, but also to protect our community.” The Health District is partnering with local elected officials, Chambers of Commerce, law enforcement, the ecumenical community and other organizations to get information out to all sectors of Chelan-Douglas counties and to encourage public masking.

“We have heard concerns expressed that wearing a mask could prevent someone from getting adequate oxygen when they breathe,” states Dr. Butler. “The evidence simply isn’t there. A proper fitting mask that covers both the nose and mouth may seem a bit foreign at first, but it does not block an individual’s ability to breathe during normal activities.” Washington State
Department of Health recognizes that there are a few cases where masking may not be recommended, but they are very limited. For more complete information, please visit this link.

As we go into the Fourth of July holiday weekend when the temptation for group gatherings and a relaxation of COVID-19 safe practices may occur, Dr. Butler reminds us all: Be a protector – not an infector. For more information, visit www.cdhd.wa.gov/covid-19 and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Full Press Release:
2020-22 CDHD Stresses Importance of “Masking-Up” – English and Spanish