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Portland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Portland, Oregon | KGW.com

VERIFY: Can TriMet drivers refuse service to riders who don’t wear masks?

KGW answers your questions about the new mask requirements in Oregon.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown's new mask requirements went into effect on Friday, and a lot of people still have questions about where they apply.

Face coverings are now required statewide for children ages 5 and older at indoor public places, and outdoors where 6 feet of distance from others can't be maintained. Masks are recommended for children ages 2-5.

Gov. Brown also said statewide gathering limits for indoor venues, restaurants and bars will be 100 people starting Friday. The gathering limit for outdoor venues in Phase 2 counties will remain at 250 people.

Restaurant and bar service will end at 10 p.m. statewide beginning Friday, Brown said.

Viewers have asked KGW to Verify several answers regarding the new rules.

Do you have something you want us to Verify? Let us know. Email us at Verify@kgw.com

Question: Indoor gym patrons must now wear masks when working out. Does this carry over to indoor sports courts also? For example: tennis, pickleball, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, etc. - Deborah

Answer: Yes, face coverings—which can be a mask, face-covering, or face shield––must be worn in indoor sports courts, and outdoor sports courts when six feet of space cannot be maintained. From the updated OHA guidance on sports: Wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, when actively participating in an indoor sport or an outdoor sport when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained in accordance with Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance. A mask, face shield, or face covering is not required for participating in indoor or outdoor sports when it is not feasible, such as when swimming. The face-covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. People can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick. (Sources: Governor Kate Brown's Office and The Oregon Health Authority.)

Question: As a customer riding TriMet Public Transit System, I have noticed that drivers do not enforce mask coverings to riders refusing to wear masks. Can service be denied to these individuals just as service can be denied by a business? - April

Answer: From OHA’s face coverings FAQ: A transit provider should arrange separate transportation for the person or make some other reasonable accommodation to provide transportation for the person, but the person should not be allowed on the bus. 

However, TriMet told KGW their drivers will not be enforcing this because it could put them in a tense situation. 

Spokesperson Tia York said in an email, "TriMet asks riders to do the right thing and wear a mask or, if they don’t have one, take one from a dispenser as they board. Our operators inform riders of the face-covering requirement but are not responsible for enforcement, as that could create tension and put the operator at risk. TriMet was one of the first transit agencies in the country to provide face coverings on all of our buses and trains, and we have distributed 1.5 million since mid-May. We have also installed hand sanitizer dispensers on board and encourage physical distancing with signs on the seats." (Sources: Oregon Health Authority and TriMet)

RELATED: TriMet allowing more people on buses and trains

Question: Could you please verify if it is a State of Oregon COVID health regulation to not allow hand-held-blow dryers to be used in beauty salons in Clackamas County? - Dee

Answer: No such regulation exists. Blow dryers may be used as long as safety protocols for cleaning and disinfecting tools are followed. 

From OHA’s personal services FAQ: There is no evidence that the coronavirus can be spread by blow dryers. Refer to the Specific Guidance for Personal Services Providers for more information about cleaning and disinfecting tools. Employees, contractors, and volunteers are required to wear a mask, face shield, or face-covering unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. Providers must maintain at least six feet of physical distance from clients unless providing services where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. (Governor Kate Brown's Office)

Do you have something you want us to Verify? Let us know. Email us at Verify@kgw.com 

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