Oregon will, once again, require masks indoors, though the details have yet to be announced. In a Tuesday press release, Gov. Kate Brown announced that the state will re-instate statewide indoor mask requirements, providing more details in a Wednesday press conference.
The governor’s press release comes one day after Multnomah County announced its county-wide indoor mask mandate, which will go into effect Friday, August 13. The latest wave of COVID-19 safety policy is a direct response to rising cases and hospitalizations throughout the state: the Oregon Health Authority reported 2,329 new and presumed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with Oregon’s total COVID-19 death toll closely approaching 3,000 people. Oregon Health & Sciences University modeling shows that just under 1,100 Oregonians could be hospitalized with COVID-19 by mid-September, which would far exceed the state’s hospital bed capacity.
“The latest science is clear: although unvaccinated individuals are more likely to contract the disease, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can spread the Delta variant. Masks are a simple and effective way to make sure you are not unknowingly infecting your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues,” Brown said in the statement. “After a year and a half of this pandemic, I know Oregonians are tired of health and safety restrictions. This new mask requirement will not last forever, but it is a measure that can save lives right now.”
The time frame and restrictions on the indoor mask requirement have yet to be announced; Brown will provide more details in a 11 a.m. press conference.
• Governor Kate Brown Announces New Statewide Measures to Address Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations [Official]
• OHA COVID-19 data [Official]
• Multnomah County Will Require Masks in All Restaurants and Bars Starting August 13 [EPDX]
• Oregon’s COVID-19 hospitalizations could soar to about 1,100, double previous high, new modeling says [O]