Fully-vaccinated Oregonians no longer need to wear masks in most public spaces, governor says

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon’s governor has sided with the Centers for Disease Control’s latest mask guidance.

On Thursday evening, Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement:

Hello, Governor Kate Brown here.

Today the CDC issued new guidance for lifting mask and social distancing requirements for fully-vaccinated individuals. It is yet another sign that, if we all continue to do our part, the pandemic is coming closer to an end.

Starting today [Thursday], 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. The CDC has outlined a few exceptions, such as public transportation, hospitals and health care clinics, correctional facilities, and long-term care facilities. Oregon will continue to require individuals to remain masked and distanced in these circumstances. Immuno-compromised people should continue to follow the recommendations of their health care provider when it comes to personal protective measures. Nothing is changing for schools this school year, and I expect education staff and students to continue to wear masks and physically distance, as outlined in our Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.

In the coming days, the Oregon Health Authority will be providing updated guidance for businesses, employers, and others to allow the option of lifting mask and physical distancing requirements after verifying vaccination status. Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status, and that’s fine.

Oregonians now have a choice of how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19: either get vaccinated, or continue wearing a mask and following physical distancing requirements.

The new CDC guidance makes clear that vaccines are the best tool to protect yourself, and everyone around you. Vaccines are also the fastest way to get back to doing the things we all love, and to returning to a sense of normalcy.

If you’re already vaccinated, thank you. I encourage you to help a friend or loved one make their appointment. If you have questions about vaccines, that’s totally normal. Call your health care provider to get your questions answered, or visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov for great resources.

We are one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us. Thank you, Oregon, for continuing to get vaccinated. Keep it up. And stay safe out there.

It’s still unclear if the governor’s declarations will overturn Oregon’s Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mask guidance in the workplace.

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