PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN). — Starting Wednesday. face masks will be required throughout all of Oregon.
Governor Kate Brown announced all Oregonians will need to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, extending her order that was initially mandated in just 8 counties. People who have underlying health conditions, have a disability or are under the age of 12 are exempt from the mask mandate.
“Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference,” the governor said in a statement. “Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.”
She said she does not want to close businesses again “like other states are now doing.”
The upcoming 4th of July holiday has health officials deeply concerned.
“Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVD-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday,” Brown said “Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.”
People who have underlying health conditions, have a disability or are under the age of 12 are exempt from the mask mandate.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health expects businesses to tell a customer without a face covering that a mask or face shield is required indoors. If a person decline, businesses should politely ask if they have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing one.
If so, no further questions should be asked. But if the don’t have an exemption, then OSHA says a business should kindly ask them to leave and they can call the police if the person refuses. The state makes it clear that under no circumstance should a business try to physically block a person from entering.
Health officials stress not to “mask shame” people. If you see someone not wearing a mask, do not engage with them. Instead, contact your local health authority — do not call the police.