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Oregon Governor Kate Brown Reinstates Outdoor Mask Mandate Regardless Of Vaccination Status

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On Tuesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that masks would again be required for outdoor gatherings. The new mandate is set to take effect starting Friday, August 27 and will apply regardless of vaccination status. “Masks will be required in all public outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status,” Brown said in a statement.

“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” Brown said. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.”

“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” Brown said. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.”

 

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The new guidelines do not extend to gatherings at private residences, though health officials “strongly recommend” masking in such circumstances. The rules also do not apply to “fleeting encounters”, such as two people walking past each other on the street. The rule also does not apply to children under 5, people who are eating or drinking, the homeless, people who are playing competitive sports and people performing outdoors. A statewide indoor mask mandate has been in effect since August 13.

Oregon has been experiencing pandemic record case numbers in recent weeks. On August 14, the state recorded 2,200 new cases, according to the Oregon Health Authority.  As of Monday, there were 937 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, more than at any point during the pandemic. There were 47 available adult ICU beds out of 657 total and 349 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,172, according to Fox 12.

Oregon is experiencing a massive spike in infections despite a high vaccination rate. 63% of Oregonians have received at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine while 57% have been fully vaccinated. Brown encouraged Oregonians to vaccinated in her statement. “Roll up your sleeves, take your shot, wear your mask and please stay safe out there,” Brown said.

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