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Not all mask requirements going away when Washington reopens, health secretary says

State officials have said they will follow CDC guidelines as Washington prepares to reopen.

A full reopening in Washington state doesn't necessarily mean all COVID-19 requirements will be set aside. 

Department of Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah said there will still be mask requirements for unvaccinated people in indoor settings and high-risk outdoor settings.

State officials have said they are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Current guidelines show fully vaccinated people can resume all activities without a mask. Unvaccinated people, on the other hand, are still asked to wear a mask while indoors and in some outdoor settings, including crowded events or gatherings that include people from multiple households.

As the state nears reaching its goal of vaccinating 70% of eligible people, Shah said "lots of work remains" as officials work to reopen the state.

According to the Department of Health, based on people 16 and older, as of June 15 about 67% were vaccinated.

Washington state is set to fully reopen June 30.

"Many people, myself included, are eager for our state to fully reopen," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement Tuesday. "I have said repeatedly we are going to do this on June 30 or when we hit 70% of people 16 and up initiating vaccinations – whichever happens first. We use age 16 and up as that population was eligible when we made the announcement.

“I am hopeful Washingtonians will get vaccinated for their own health and that of their loved ones, and to help move our state closer to a full reopening."

Vaccination rates are up for the first time in more than a month, Acting Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts said during Tuesday's Department of Health briefing. She said it's too soon to tell if the vaccine lottery has had a direct impact on that vaccination rate, but it did increase after the lottery was announced.