Spokane and the Nation: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919

Headline: Every One Must Wear Gauze Mask”

Source: Spokesman-Review, November 4, 1918, p. 1

Subject: state orders use of flu masks

Synopsis: State board of health officials ordered that people must wear gauze masks while they are in public. The order, intended to stop the spread of influenza, also required stores to keep their doors open so that fresh air could get into the building.

Notable Quotation: “The order provides masks shall be worn in all public conveyances, in corridors, lobbies and other public places in public buildings, hotels, lodging houses, stores, restaurants, barber shops and laundries.”

Observations: This article shows that the state was very concerned with stopping the spread of the disease, even if it meant requiring all citizens to wear masks.

“Every One Must Wear Gauze Mask”

Board of Health Order Applies to Citizens of This State.

By Associated Press

            SEATTLE, Wash., Nov. 3. -  An order issued today by the state board of health compels the wearing of gauze masks throughout the state during the epidemic of Spanish influenza. The order provides masks shall be worn in all public conveyances, in corridors, lobbies and other public places in public buildings, hotels, lodging houses, stores, restaurants, barber shops and laundries. Stores were ordered to keep their doors wide open.