Updated Guidance on Masks—July 28, 2021

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UPDATE: Following the most recent directive from the Governor, once again masks are required for everyone while indoors, beginning Sunday, August 22. The announcement below is no longer accurate. 

A Message from Dean Thomason

July 28, 2021

Updated Guidance on Masks—"Recommended but Not Required"

Dear friends,

There is a saying in health care: “the only constant is change…” The pandemic has required much of us, but perhaps above all it has required us to be nimble and adaptive as the circumstances change. It is no secret that our nation has not topped this hill on COVID just yet, largely due to a confluence of factors—the arrival of new variants, many choosing to remain unvaccinated despite sound science, and increased activity including travel and public gatherings.

Last Friday King County public health officials recommended all of us resume wearing masks when gathering indoors for public events. Some of us did so last Sunday, and I will ask the liturgical ministers to model the recommendation beginning this Sunday. Tuesday the CDC made a similar recommendation for regions with high infection rates, including Seattle. It is worth noting these are recommendations, not requirements, for vaccinated persons, and I write here to communicate the same language for all public gatherings at Saint Mark’s, including worship services. We recommend all persons wear masks when together, including all who are vaccinated. We will not require it unless the directive from public health officials adopts that language, which they may very well if we do not reverse the trend in infection rates.

Please note: the distanced section on the south side of the nave has plenty of space for additional people to be seated there. All should be masked and distanced in that section regardless of vaccination status. For the rest of the nave, where vaccinated persons may sit who choose not to be distanced, we recommend you wear you mask, but that is your decision at this time.

I know this is a frustrating setback, and you may feel you are being adversely impacted for the irresponsibility of others, but we are in this together, and there is a sense of taking on this extra burden now, to avoid a heavier burden later. Be safe, please, and take care.

Blessings and peace,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

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