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Oregon updates statewide mask guidance; fully vaccinated people no longer required to wear a mask in most indoor settings

Businesses and venue operators can now choose whether to no longer require masks, but the state says they'll need to require people show proof of vaccination

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced new mask guidelines for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The OHA said those fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask in most indoor settings, but only where vaccination status is checked. 

Under the updated guidelines, businesses, employers and faith institutions can determine their own mask use policies. They can choose to no longer require masks, but they'll have to require people show proof of vaccination. 

OHA's updated guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased COVID-19 restrictions last week. The CDC said fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks and physically distancing in most public spaces.

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A “fully vaccinated individual” is a person who has received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since the person's final dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Governor Kate Brown said the CDC's announcement is “another sign that as more people become fully vaccinated, the closer we are to ending this pandemic.”

Oregon's new guidance:

  • Fully-vaccinated individuals in Oregon are no longer required to wear a face mask or physically distance, whether indoors or outdoors, two weeks after their final COVID-19 vaccination dose. 
  • Masks and social distancing are still required in the following places, regardless of vaccination status: public transportation, schools, hospitals and clinics, homeless shelters, youth and adult correctional facilities and long-term care facilities.
  • Businesses, employers and faith institutions can choose to no longer require masks and physical distancing for fully vaccinated individuals or continue to require masks and physical distancing in their locations for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If a business, employer or faith institution chooses to no longer require masks and physical distancing, the business, employer or faith institution must require visitors to show proof of vaccination and review the proof of vaccination. In that case, a business would need to have a policy for checking the vaccination status of customers and employees if they are not wearing masks. Fully vaccinated individuals would need to provide proof they’d been vaccinated if they want to remove face coverings and not observe physical distancing guidelines.

RELATED: These stores plan to keep requiring masks for now

State health experts also announced that masks are no longer required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. However, the OHA recommends that people who are not vaccinated and who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease continue to wear masks and physically distance in outdoor areas and large gatherings.