PORTLAND, Ore. — State health officials announcing today that Oregon will remove general mask requirements for indoor public places no later than March 31.
However, on Monday Oregon Health Authority filed a new rule with the Oregon Secretary of State to require people to wear masks while indoors in public places.
The new rule replaces a temporary rule that expires Tuesday (February 8).
Once requirements are lifted, employers and businesses may continue to set their own mask requirements to protect employees and customers.
Health scientists expect that about 400 or fewer Oregonians would be hospitalized with COVID-19 by late March.
“The evidence from Oregon and around the country is clear: masks save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., health officer and state epidemiologist. “We should see COVID-19 hospitalizations drop by the end of March because so many Oregonians are wearing masks and taking other steps to protect themselves and each other, such as getting a booster shot or vaccinating their children. At that point, it will be safer to lift mask requirements.”
The OHA says to give school districts time to prepare, the mask requirements in schools will also be lifted on March 31st.
State health officials will work with Oregon Department of Education officials to revise guidance to ensure schools can continue operating safely and keep students in the classroom once the school mask requirements are lifted.