OHA: Masks required into new year as cases persist


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, mask requirements are set to still be in effect in Oregon into the new year, according to the state health department.

Patrick Allen, the head of Oregon Health Authority, brought up the issue at the beginning of his meeting with state lawmakers. Allen said COVID cases are higher than in the spring of last year and nearly as high as last winter’s surge.

Even though 72% of Oregon adults are fully vaccinated, more than 20% have not had a first dose.

“It’s like at a Blazer game where they’re up in the 4th quarter and you decide to beat traffic and head to the parking lot. We’ve had a lot of experience with this pandemic where we end up in the parking lot and realize the end of the game turns out differently,” Allen said.

KOIN 6 News checked in on shots for little kids that just started in vaccine clinics. So far, about 40,000 kids ages 5-to-11 in Oregon have gotten their first shot. This is within the past two weeks when kids became eligible.

This pace is likely to pick up as new large-scale vaccine clinics are coming, including one in East County and another planned for Clackamas County. Details for these clinics are still being worked out.

Providence Park is also holding a vaccine clinic Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

Additionally, the vaccination site at Reynolds Middle School, run by Multnomah County, has 400 kid’s doses available for Wednesday’s clinic.  

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