PORTLAND, Ore. — UPDATE: Gov. Brown on Friday released the full list of guidelines for face masks in Oregon.
Original story below:
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday elaborated on face mask rules that will go into effect June 24 in several Oregon counties.
Face masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk and Lincoln counties. But Brown said any county can opt in to the requirements.
The mandate to wear masks aims to mitigate the rise in COVID-19 cases as the state's most populated counties begin to open; the announcement came at the same time Brown announced Multnomah County could reopen. Wearing a mask protects others from your respiratory droplets, which can transmit the virus.
"We may have to live with this disease for quite a while, so we have to adapt our habits, and that includes covering our mouth and nose when we’re out in public in indoor locations," Brown said.
During a Thursday press conference, Gov. Brown, Oregon Health Authority epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger and OHA Director Pat Allen expanded on the requirements, and they said further guidance will be coming in the next few days.
Children under 12 will not be required to wear face masks, nor will people with underlying health conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings.
Brown said obviously bar and restaurant patrons will not be wearing masks as they are eating and drinking, but they will be required to wear their masks at all other times inside the establishments.
She added that although the face mask mandate "is enforceable," people won't be arrested or ticketed for not wearing masks.
But Dr. Sidelinger explained that businesses are private property and business owners can refuse to serve people who aren't wearing masks.
And for people attending massive protests, Brown asked them to do so carefully and responsibly.
"I just want to encourage you to wear face coverings," she said. "We know physical distancing makes a difference. Wash, wash, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. That's my message. It makes sense to protect your friends, colleagues, your fellow protesters."
Sidelinger said there's still no definitive evidence showing that protests have increased the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.
Multnomah County is still accepting face covering donations for anyone who might sew them at home. You can find information about donating here.
Tips for finding the right face covering
- Tight weave cotton-quilt, OR cotton plus silk, chiffon, or flannel
- Any basic cloth face covering PLUS nylon stocking to sculpt the fit to the wearer's face.
A face covering works best when:
- Your mouth and nose are fully covered
- The covering fits snugly against the sides of your face without gaps.
- You handle the face covering by its elastic bands or ties, not the part that covers your face.
Face coverings are not advised for children under 2 years old or anyone who cannot remove a face covering easily themselves.
Brown also announced Wednesday that Marion, Polk and Hood River counties will be able to move to Phase 2 beginning Friday, June 19. And she said several counties will be grouped together in future reopening decisions. Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties will be grouped together in new reopening decisions, as will the "bi-county" area of Polk and Marion counties.