Breaking News
More () »

7 Oregon counties will require face masks to be worn indoors beginning today

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released further guidance on what the face mask mandate means for customers and businesses in the impacted counties.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown last Friday released the full list of face mask requirements for businesses and customers in Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Washington counties.

The rules go into effect for those seven counties on June 24, but any county that's not on the list can ask for the governor to apply these guidelines.

Face coverings will be mandatory in indoor businesses that are open to the public.

“As we learn more about COVID-19, evidence continues to mount that face coverings play a critical role in reducing transmission,” Brown said. “We have to live with this disease for a while. And that is going to require adjusting our habits––taking the simple step of covering our nose and mouth in spaces where we interact with others."

Credit: Wendy Gatlin, KGW
The Oregon counties with a face mask requirement.

Businesses that are impacted

The list of businesses in Phase 1 counties and regions impacted by the face mask mandate are:

  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness-related organizations
  • Pharmacies
  • Public transit agencies and providers
  • Personal services providers
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting room and distilleries
  • Retail stores, shopping centers and malls
  • Ride sharing services

Businesses in Phase 2 counties and regions only include:

  • Indoor licensed swimming pool, licensed spa pool and sports court operators
  • Indoor entertainment facility operators
  • Indoor recreational sports operators for specified sports
  • Indoor venue operators

But Gov. Brown said there may be mask, face shield or face covering requirements that apply to businesses not listed above; those businesses should review other comparable industry guidance for requirements and recommendations.

Read full list of guidelines (PDF)

Requirements for businesses

Businesses must require employees, contractors, volunteers, customers and visitors to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, unless an accommodation is required by law or one of the listed exemptions applies.

Employees, contractors and volunteers are not required to wear a mask while eating or drinking, or while working in a location where 6 feet of space or more can be maintained between other employees .

Businesses must also provide masks, face shields, or face coverings for employees, or provide accommodations for those who are exempt from wearing them.

And businesses are required to post clear signs about the mask, face shield, or face-covering requirements.

Recommendations for businesses

Provide, at no cost, face coverings for customers and visitors who do not have one. Disposable masks will suffice.

Post signs about the mask, face shield, or face covering requirement in languages that are commonly spoken by customers and visitors.

Educate employees on how to safely work and communicate with people who cannot wear face coverings. And inform them they may need to remove their own face coverings while communicating with a person who needs to read lips or see facial expressions to communicate.

Requirements for the public

Customers and visitors of businesses are required to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering when at a business unless they:

  • Are under 12 years of age.
  • Have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe when wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.
  • Have a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering.

Customers and visitors do not have to wear face masks in restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting rooms or distilleries while they're eating or drinking. Face coverings are also not required for customers engaged in activities that make face coverings infeasible, such as strenuous physical exercise, singing or playing an instrument--as long as they can still maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

More: Face mask guidelines for the general public

Guidance for customers with children 12 and under

  • Children under the age of two don't need to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering.
  • For children between 2 and 12 years old, it's strongly recommended that they wear a mask, face shield, or face covering at all times in places like grocery stores or pharmacies, where they likely cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance from people outside their household, and where there may be vulnerable customers.
  • Because children can have challenges wearing face coverings properly, and because in some cases safety issues with the face coverings may arise, adults are expected to assist and supervise them closely.

“We wear face coverings to protect the doctors and nurses working day and night in hospitals and clinics around the state," Gov. Brown said Friday. "We wear them to protect our elderly neighbors. We wear them to protect kids in cancer treatment and people with compromised immune systems. We wear them to protect the grocery store clerk and the pizza delivery gal. We wear them because we don’t want to accidentally kill someone.

“It’s really that simple: Face coverings save lives.”

Watch: How to make a DIY cloth face mask

RELATED: Dissecting Phase 1 of Gov. Brown's reopening plan for Oregon

RELATED: Businesses looking forward to next phase of reopening

RELATED: Life ‘pretty close to back to normal’ in Phase 2 for rural Oregon county

Before You Leave, Check This Out