CWU News

Air Quality Precautions, N95 Masks Available

Smoke Mask

Free n95 masks are available for CWU employees and students at the SURC Help Desk, Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, and Jongeward facility. Masks will also be delivered to all building captains across the Ellensburg campus, while the University Centers are relying on their local sites for support.

Air quality levels across the state are ranging from "very unhealthy" to "hazardous". It is strongly recommended that outdoor activities move to a location with good or moderate air quality and to wear a n95 mask when outdoors.

Limiting time outdoors is especially important for people with asthma, respiratory infections, diabetes, lung or heart disease, or people who have had a stroke; and infants, children, older adults, and pregnant women.

Individuals can take steps to protect themselves from the health effects of wildfire smoke by following the Washington State Department of Health’s recommendations below:

• Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Take the following steps when indoors:
• Keep windows and doors closed. If there is no air conditioning and it is too hot to keep windows and doors closed, consider leaving the area or spending time in an airconditioned location.
• Run an air conditioner (if you have one), set it to re-circulate and close the fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter regularly.
• Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce indoor air pollution. A HEPA filter may reduce the number of irritating fine particles in indoor air. A HEPA filter with charcoal will help remove some of the gases from the smoke.
• Don’t add to indoor pollution. Don’t use candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don’t vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Don’t smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

The general public may pick up masks at the following locations: Putnam Centennial Center, Kittitas County Health Department, and Ellensburg Senior Center.

View the document Visibility Range & Air Quality Index for additional recommendations. For more information on the air quality levels in your area bookmark the site and visit the CWU Fire Updates web page.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,