SEATTLE (AP) - All passengers traveling through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will be required to wear cloth face coverings beginning May 18 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The requirement also applies to airport workers, including Port of Seattle employees, and visitors who aren't flying, according to The Seattle Times. The move announced by the Port of Seattle on Saturday night exempts people who can't tolerate facial coverings for medical reasons, as well as very young children.
It's not yet clear how the Port of Seattle will enforce the requirement, but port spokesman Peter McGraw said the policy will be refined in the coming week.
Several major airlines and some airports also are requiring passengers to wear masks. Philadelphia International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport will require all passengers and visitors to wear masks starting Monday. Denver International Airport started requiring all passengers to wear face coverings this past week.
Some carriers, including Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, require passengers to wear face coverings when they are on the plane.
The Transportation Security Administration now requires workers at screening checkpoints to wear masks. At Sea-Tac, seven TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, and the vast majority recover. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.