Governor Kate Brown Extends Face Coverings Requirement Statewide

Face covering requirements apply to indoor public spaces, take effect on Wednesday, July 1.

Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.

“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.

“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.

“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.

“I do not want to have to close down businesses again like other states are now doing. If you want your local shops and restaurants to stay open, then wear a face covering when out in public.

“Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVID-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday. Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.

“Oregonians have all made incredible sacrifices over the last several months that have saved thousands of lives. The actions we take now can protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians from this disease, and prevent the need for another statewide shutdown. We are truly all in this together.”

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead, along with other state and local agencies, in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.

OHA Guidance

We anticipate that the county-specific face covering guidance will be extended statewide, including for businesses. For the public, the guidance is copied below.

  • Customers and visitors of businesses are required to:
    • Wear a mask, face shield, or face covering when at a business unless the individual:
      • Is under 12 years of age.
      • Has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
      • Has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
  • Customers and visitors of businesses between the ages of 0 and 12 years old:
    • Children under the age of two (2) are not required to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering.
    • It is strongly recommended that children between two (2) and 12 years of age, wear a mask, face shield, or face covering at all times in all indoor spaces open to the public, particularly in places where it is likely that physical distancing of at least six (6) feet from other individuals outside their household unit cannot be maintained, and where vulnerable people may go.
    • Because children between the ages of two (2) and 12 years of age can have challenges wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering properly (e.g., excessively touching the face covering, not changing the face covering if visibly soiled, risk of strangulation or suffocation, etc.) we urge that if masks, face shields or face coverings are worn by this age group, that they be worn with the assistance and close supervision of an adult. Masks, face shields, or face coverings should never be worn by children when sleeping.
  • Indoor spaces open to the public:
    • Individuals visiting indoor spaces open to the public are required to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering unless the individual:
      • Is under 12 years of age.
      • Has a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
      • Has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.

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