Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOregon governor sued by police, firefighters over vaccine mandate Unvaccinated employee sparked COVID-19 outbreak at Oregon assisted living facility: officials At least 90,000 students have had to quarantine because of COVID-19 so far this school year MORE (D) announced Friday that masks are now required in schools and state agency buildings effective immediately, The Associated Press reports.
All state employees and visitors are now required to wear protective facial coverings while in indoor state agency spaces.
The new mandate comes less than a month after statewide coronavirus-related restrictions were lifted, including mask mandates and social distancing, but new cases of the rapidly spreading delta variant warranted the new order, Brown said.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on Friday reported 1,076 new coronavirus cases and 298 people hospitalized with COVID-19, reported KATU 2.
"The science and data are clear: the Delta variant is spreading in our communities and is more contagious," the governor said Friday, according to the AP. "This mask requirement will protect Oregonians, many of whom have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and who continue to provide essential services to Oregonians."
The OHA on Tuesday updated its guidance to recommend that all Oregonians wear masks while indoors in public, according to KOIN 6.
The school and agency mandate is the latest fight against the rapidly spreading delta variant, and follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.