Confused about COVID-19 masking guidelines?

February 25, 2022

Confused about COVID-19 masking guidelines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new community level guidelines on Friday, which include calling for easing of indoor masking in locations where COVID-19 transmission is low. Dr. Chloe Bryson-Cahn, a UW Medicine infectious diseases physician at Harborview Medical Center, says to follow what your local public health officials are recommending.

“We should follow our local county guidance, which is often informed by state rules,” said Bryson-Cahn. “I think even at a more granular level, just remembering that the businesses that we frequent and where we're going actually have complete control over their location. And if they, in a region where we're not told the mask by the state or the county, if they want us masked, they can also ask us to mask. And that's okay.”

With Washington state’s mask mandate now set to end on March 12, Bryson-Cahn says many healthcare settings will continue to make masking a priority.

“Hospitals, physicians’ offices, dental offices, and pharmacies remain callouts [to the expiring mandate],” said Bryson-Cahn. “We're going to keep masking to protect the vulnerable patients that we care for in these places and keep our healthcare workers safe as well.”

Download broadcast-ready video assets on deciphering masking guidance.

Getty Images

Terms of appropriate usage of file downloads

  • News reporters and news organizations may freely republish and distribute videos, still images and audio files produced by UW Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Works must be attributed/credited appropriately (for example, “UW Medicine” – as denoted in the file) and must not be used for commercial purposes.
  • These visual and audio files may not be used to exploit or misrepresent UW Medicine or the University of Washington.
  • UW Medicine often licenses still images from Thinkstock but cannot grant republishing rights. You may not republish single image files credited to Thinkstock.
  • Logos of UW Medicine and University of Washington Health Sciences schools may not be republished without explicit permission. Contact us by phone or email: 206.543.3620 or