City COVID-19 Mask Requirements and Reopening Plans

Mask and vaccine requirements (effective 8/23/2021)

In light of the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases — specifically Delta variant cases – in our community and across the country, Governor Jay Inslee updated and extended two emergency proclamations that expand vaccine requirements and statewide face covering requirements.  The expanded emergency orders are:  Proclamations 20-25, Washington Ready; and 21-14, Vaccination Requirement

The Governor’s orders require masks be worn indoors by all employees and visitors to City facilities, regardless of vaccine status. These requirements replaced the City’s requirement to resume using face coverings in public spaces, which became effective 8/4/2021. Additional information about the Governor’s COVID-19 mandates, along with additional health guidance, can be found on the Governor’s Office website and Whatcom County Health Department website.

Additional decisions made in light of skyrocketing local cases of COVID-19:

  • A previously announced post-Labor Day return to fully staffed in-person services has now been postponed until at least October 18.
  • Plans to consider resuming in-person meetings of the Bellingham City Council and various City boards and commissions are now on hold indefinitely.

City officials are committed to a safe work environment for all employees and visitors and will continue to adapt policies and expectations as conditions evolve. Thank you for your patience and commitment to City services during these dynamic and continued challenging times.

Some in-person services resume (effective 6/30/2021)

Some in-person City services resumed beginning June 30, 2021, including in-person services during limited hours at the Permit Center, Finance Department, and Parks Department at Bellingham City Hall. The Bellingham Municipal Court resumed some in-person hearings beginning July 13, 2021. For details, see the news releases below:

These plans are consistent with Governor Jay Inslee’s directives for statewide reopening and consistent with guidance from state and local health officials, the Governor’s Office, and the state Department of Labor and Industries.

Many City meetings, including Bellingham City Council and all City boards and commissions, continue to be held via online meeting platforms. Check the City Events Calendar for information, or contact the responsible department using the list above for more information.

Check our News and City Social Media pages for further updates, and please contact each City department for information on how to access services they provide:

City Attorney

City Council Office


Fire and Emergency Medical Services

Hearing Examiner

Human Resources

Information Technology

Mayor’s Office

Municipal Court

Parks and Recreation

Planning and Community Development


Public Works