Oregon implementing mask mandates outdoors regardless of vaccination status

Oregon announced Tuesday it is reimplementing an outdoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status, a measure that is slated to take effect Friday.

Effective Friday, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status,” a press release from the governor’s office stated.

Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownBBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Obama pushes world to do more at COP26 Hawaii governor urges bolder climate action: Net zero is 'not good enough' MORE (D) said in a video this action is to “protect Oregonians and save lives.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The mask mandate does not apply when a person is alone or with members of the same household, according to the press release. 

Masks are required if an individual is around anyone from a different household and not practicing social distancing.  

Individuals at private residences are also “strongly recommended” to mask outdoors if someone from another household are over. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The state’s directive goes beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that say fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks in indoor settings in areas with high transmission rates of the virus.

Oregon is the first state to reimplement an outdoor mask mandate. All states dropped theirs after the CDC guidelines allowed them to do so. 

Brown said there are currently 1,000 people hospitalized for coronavirus-related complications in the state.

In the past week, Oregon has had a record high number of new coronavirus cases, hitting more than 14,800 cases from Aug. 15 to Aug. 21, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Fifty-eight percent of its residents are fully vaccinated.