OHA: ‘Sharp’ rise in cases prompts masks for all indoors

Coronavirus

Recommendation came after Gov. Brown, OHA met

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In response to a reported ‘sharp rise’ in Oregon COVID cases, the Oregon Health Authority updated its guidance Tuesday evening and recommended everyone – vaccinated or not – wear masks in all indoor public settings.

Governor Brown met with officials at the OHA earlier in the day following an updated mask recommendation from the CDC.

The CDC reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Brown said she would be discussing the new recommendation and “making a decision later today or later this week.”

Masking up is a way to fight back against the highly contagious delta variant. The bigger issue is people don’t know in public who is and isn’t vaccinated. Just because someone is asked to wear a mask if they haven’t gotten a vaccination doesn’t mean they do.

But it’s why many stores still require everyone to wear a mask — and hope the statewide mask mandate returns.

With the virus spreading and the pace of vaccinations at a crawl, the question now is whether that recommendation to mask up will once again become an order.

Oregon Daily COVID report

Oregon reported 1,032 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 216,875. Five more deaths were reported, bringing the the state’s death toll to 2,843.

259 Oregonians are hospitalized due to the virus – which is 52 more than Monday. 77 of them are in ICU beds.

Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

The new guidance follows recent decisions in Los Angeles and St. Louis to revert to indoor mask mandates amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that have been especially bad in the South. The country is averaging more than 57,000 cases a day and 24,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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