Brown: Oregon to follow CDC — all vaxxed, no masks

Coronavirus

CDC outlined a few exceptions

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Kate Brown said Oregon will follow the new rules from the CDC on masks for fully vaccinated people.

“Starting today, Oregon will be following this guidance, which only applies to fully-vaccinated
individuals. That means Oregonians who are fully-vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or
social distance in most public spaces,” Brown said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday afternoon that they are easing mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

The CDC has outlined a few exceptions, such as public transportation, hospitals and health care
clinics, correctional facilities, and long-term care facilities. Nothing is changing for schools this school year.

The new guidance is a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life. President Joe Biden said, “Today is a great day for America.”

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces and schools.

Residents wearing masks walk in downtown Lake Oswego, Ore., on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

‘Kind of scared but excited’

At a busy park in Northwest Portland, people were cautiously optimistic about the new mask guidelines.

Eric Jen and Morgan West have mixed feelings, who both said they were “kind of scared but excited.”

“Excited if the world comes back to normal but scared if it’s the right timing,” Jen said.

It’s still unclear what the changes will look like for businesses such as gyms, restaurants and shops — and what it means for employees in the corporate workplace.

” I will probably continue to wear them, moreso for the sake of the people around me,” said Sara Slabisak.

Morgan West and Eric Jen are cautiously optimistic about being able to remove their masks when fully vaccinated, May 13, 2021 (KOIN)

Will it be up to a business owner to verify vaccination, and if so, does that mean you should keep your vaccination record with you at all times? That’s still unclear, too, although the Oregon Health Authority is expected to address that soon.

“If they just made (the vaccination cards) a size that would fit into your wallet and not this giant shape, then maybe that would help out a little bit,” West said.

And as Jen and West pointed out, people aren’t always honest.

“People can forge those,” Jen said. “There’s a much better way to do it.”

“It’s good to see us making a little bit of progress,” West said, “but I hope people don’t take advantage of it.”

One man at the park summed up many people’s feelings.

“I think it’s about time that people who’ve been vaccinated be free of wearing masks all the time.”

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