Mask Mandate Back In Effect In Washington County Buildings

The Washington County government is re-instituting a requirement that county employees and visitors alike wear masks in county buildings — regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

With cases and hospitalizations trending downward, the county lifted its mask requirement in public buildings in late June. But as the delta variant drives a new surge, County Administrator Tanya Ange says the county government is again requiring that people mask up in buildings like the Washington County Courthouse, the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and others.

"Washington County's core purpose is to serve the public, but we cannot do that if our actions end up helping spread a sometimes deadly yet preventable disease," Ange said in a statement announcing the new policy Friday afternoon, Aug. 6.

Additionally, Washington County employees will be required to wear masks outside when "large groups of people are gathered," according to the county statement.

Hillsboro, the county seat, announced it is also re-instating its mask requirement in city buildings Friday afternoon, minutes after the county announced its new policy.

Two city buildings will have exemptions for patrons who are either fully vaccinated or not eligible to be vaccinated, such as those under age 12. Those buildings are the Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC) and at Hidden Creek Community Center for patrons.

Patrons should provide proof of vaccination prior to exercising at those facilities. Otherwise, they should wear a mask.

Washington County residents are encouraged to limit visits to county buildings, using virtual and other no-contact options when possible.

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