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State employees in Oregon required to wear face masks

Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidance requiring face masks for employees and visitors inside state agency buildings.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown announced new face mask guidance that requires all state employees to wear a face mask inside state agency buildings, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Those visiting state buildings, such as the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, must also wear a face mask. 

This is just the latest mask requirement to come down in Oregon following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releasing its revised mask guidance on Tuesday recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is surging. 

RELATED: CDC document warns delta variant appears to be as contagious as chickenpox

"The science and data are clear: the delta variant is spreading in our communities and is more contagious," said Brown. "This mask requirement will protect Oregonians, many of whom have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and who continue to provide essential services to Oregonians."

On Thursday, Gov. Brown announced face masks would be required statewide in K-12 schools in Oregon this fall. Earlier in the day, the city of Portland also said it was reinstating its mask requirement for anyone inside city-owned, leased buildings effective immediately. 

RELATED: Oregon to require face masks for students K-12

This week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recommended every Oregonian, vaccinated or not, once again start wearing a mask in indoor public settings, in alignment with the CDC's recommendation. The delta variant makes up at least 88% of all cases in Oregon. The variant spreads at least twice as fast as the original and appears to load up infected people with more of the virus, making victims sicker. 

The OHA reported that in June, 92% of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 were not vaccinated.