The Oregon Health Authority today announced the lifting of the mask requirement for outdoor gatherings, but said masks were still recommended for large outdoor gatherings where social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are still required in indoor settings.
“COVID-19 remains a very unpredictable virus,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger said. He pointed to the high number of people still hospitalized in Oregon, and increased cases in several US states currently to stress that this is not a time to let our guard down.
Oregon reached the sad milestone of 5,000 COVID-19-related deaths this week. “Each death represents a hole in someone’s life that will never be filled,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. This does not compare with flu, he said, “A bad flu season kills 600 Oregonians a year.” As the holidays approach, MCHD urges everyone to be considerate of the family members we love. Limit the size of gatherings, wear masks when indoors with unvaccinated people, and wash your hands frequently.