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Face masks won't be required at Rose Quarter when state mandate lifts

When the statewide indoor mask mandate expires on March 19, The Rose Quarter will no longer require masks.
Credit: AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore. — Officials announced on Thursday that the indoor mask mandate will expire on March 19 in Oregon, which is 12 days earlier than previously forecasted due to lower-than-anticipated hospitalization numbers.

The Rose Quarter, which houses the Oregon Convention Center and the Moda Center, will no longer require masks when the mandate is dropped. However, a spokesperson said that face masks will still be recommended for those attending sporting or other events at its venues.

Masks will still be mandated until March 19.

In a press release, the Oregon Health Authority said the original date to lift the mandate was chosen because that was when the state's hospitalization levels were projected to have declined to a pre-omicron level of fewer than 400 COVID-19 patients at a time.

Hospitalization rates have declined faster than expected, the agency said, and are already down 48% from the peak of 1,130 in late January. The latest modeling from Oregon Health and Science University projects that Oregon will reach the 400-patient threshold around March 20.

Gov. Kate Brown also announced on Thursday that she will be lifting the emergency declaration on the state by April 1. 

"This does not mean the pandemic is over. COVID-19 is still present in Oregon, and we must remain vigilant," Brown said in a Twitter thread. "We must continue to get vaccinated and boosted, wear masks when necessary, and stay home when sick. That is the only way we can save lives and keep our communities open."

Her entire statement can be read here.

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