The Washington REALTORS® Legal Hotline has received several questions surrounding the requirement for brokers to wear face cloths/masks on a property or in their office per the Governor’s announcement about more counties being eligible to apply for Phase 2 variance. Annie Fitzsimmons clarifies:
Q: Please confirm that I am understanding the Governor’s guidelines with respect to face masks. My county is currently in phase 1 and I can still only meet with 1 other person in a home at once. Previously, a mask was not required, but as a result of greater flexibility in phase 2 counties, we who are still in phase 1 counties must now wear a mask when we are showing property? Starting when?
A: Specifically, the Governor’s directive requires brokers to wear “cloth face coverings.” Certainly, traditional face masks satisfy this requirement but likewise, any cloth face covering will suffice. Broker could utilize a bandana or a scarf, for example, if a mask is not readily available.
With respect to the face covering requirement for brokers selling in phase 1 counties, the Governor’s office believes that the more people who wear face coverings, the greater the likelihood that spread of the virus will slow. As the state begins to open for business, there will necessarily be many more people coming and going and interacting. County lines are not barriers and people from phase 2 counties will certainly travel into phase 1 counties. With that, everyone in every county will be more exposed to viruses carried by any person who is out and about, anywhere in the state. As a precautionary tool, the CDC is now urging the wearing of face coverings to help shield the sharing of airborne droplets from one person to another. Because of that, the Governor’s protocols for the RE industry now ask all brokers who interact with the public, including in phase 1 counties, to wear face coverings.