Anti-maskers to continue protests Sunday in Oak Harbor

Some concerned Whidbey residents will rally Sunday against school mask mandates in Washington state.

Some concerned Whidbey residents will rally Sunday against school mask mandates in Washington state.

The rally is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. in Oak Harbor.

The event follows a statewide series of rallies held Aug. 18 calling for an end to school mask mandates. Organizer Carrie Kennedy said the rally is about protecting freedom to choose, calling the mask mandate a “constitutional infringement.”

“If you’re sick, wear a mask. If you’re sick, stay home,” she said, but added the same requirement should not be enforced for “the kids who are healthy, and have the opportunity to go into the classroom to learn.”

A flyer about the rally shared online indicates that the rally is also intended to support Oak Harbor school board candidates Jessica Thompson and Jason Uemoto. Neither candidate responded to the News-Times request for comment by press time, but both have voiced support for the anti-mask movement on their candidacy Facebook pages.

On Aug. 18, Gov. Jay Inslee reinstated a statewide mask mandate in public spaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in May that multi-layer cloth masks were proven effective at blocking respiratory droplets and preventing the spread of COVID-19, and that mask wearing does not result in any significant adverse health effects.

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