‘We kinda saw it coming around the corner’: Local business owners react to new mask mandate

SPOKANE, Wash.– Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s new mask mandate feels like deja-vu for many people, including business owners.

The governor announced Wednesday masks would be required indoors again starting Monday, no matter what people’s vaccination status is. The news comes as the state sees a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Cochinito Taqueria co-owner Travis Dickinson said at first, masks took a bit of getting used to, but then it became normal.

“We’ve been through it before. We kinda saw it coming around the corner, so we’re ready to face it again,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson said some customers were frustrated with the requirement during the mask mandate.

“We definitely don’t want to be arguing with people about anything, but we’ll play by the rules and hopefully it doesn’t last very long,” Dickinson said.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee issues indoor mask mandate, required vaccinations for school workers

Gov. Inslee is requiring masks be worn in restaurants, gyms stores and other indoor spaces again. However, there are a few exceptions. People don’t need to wear them in indoor offices where the public is not allowed and people are vaccinated. They also don’t need to be worn when people are working alone. Small, private indoor gatherings where all attendees are vaccinated are also exempt.

“We need to have a statewide response to this because every single life counts in every corner in the state of Washington,” Inslee said.

Masks are not required for people while they are outside. People are still encouraged to wear them outside if they’re in a large crowd.

Every county in Washington currently falls within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of “substantial or high transmission.” Additionally, each of the state’s 35 local health officers recently recommended all people, vaccinated or unvaccinated, wear masks indoors.

RELATED: Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward responds to Gov. Inslee’s COVID-19 mandates