Group gathers in downtown Spokane to protest mask mandate

Mask Protest 2
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — A group of protesters gathered outside in downtown Spokane on Thursday to rally against the new statewide mask mandate.

The mandate, issued by Governor Jay Inslee, will go into effect Friday and requires anyone entering a public space to wear a face covering. People found out of compliance could be charged with a misdemeanor.

The protest comes ahead of Inslee’s visit to Spokane on Thursday. Protesters argue the mandate is “tyrannical” and unconstitutional, and plan to march to WSU Spokane where Inslee is set to speak at 2:30 p.m.

Inslee is also planning to meet with local leaders — including members of the Spokane Alliance, frontline and essential workers, as well as local hospital and medical system leaders — to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee to visit Spokane on Thursday

Spokane County has seen a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases as it stays in phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan. The county surpassed 1,000 confirmed cases this week and saw highest single-day rise in new cases on Tuesday.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee issues statewide proclamation requiring Washington residents to wear masks

READ: How authorities will be enforcing the mask requirement