Those three reasons are RSV, flu, and COVID-19. From today’s announcement:
Public Health – Seattle & King Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin joins other local health officers and health care leaders in recommending masking in indoor public spaces and other prevention measures given the high level of respiratory viruses circulating and stress on hospitals.
Communities across our state and around the U.S. are experiencing an unprecedented surge in viral respiratory illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and COVID-19. As health officers and health-care leaders working to improve the health of Washington residents, we recommend that everyone wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when around others in indoor spaces to protect against both acquiring and spreading these infections to others.
We also urge everyone who is eligible to stay up to date on your vaccinations. Vaccinations are the most important way to protect against severe influenza and COVID-19 infections, including hospitalization and death. Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated against these diseases and those who are eligible for an updated COVID-19 booster should get it now.
Other necessary strategies include:
-Staying home from work and school and testing for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms.
-Having a plan for rapid treatment for COVID-19 and influenza for people who are at increased risk for severe infections.
-Improving indoor air quality through ventilation, filtration, and UV technology where appropriate.
We expect the flu to circulate for months, so now is the time to get your flu shot!
You can see the full announcement – including the list of local health officers and health-care-organization leaders who have signed on to the recommendation – by going here.