What you need to know about Oregon’s statewide mask mandate

MEDFORD, Ore. — Wednesday, July 1st, is the first day masks are required across the state of Oregon in indoor, public spaces.

Governor Kate Brown discussed the recent rise in coronavirus cases at a press conference on Wednesday, going from 14 cases in early March to now over 8,600 cases.

More than a quarter of those cases, Governor Brown says, were identified in a two-week period in June.

At this pace, she says we could reach 10,000 cases within a week.

Governor Brown says what happens next is up to all Oregonians to be proactive and prevent the spread of the virus.

“The choices each of us make will decide whether we reduce the spread of the virus and find a way to keep our businesses open or whether we let down our defenses and allow the virus to take hold,” said Governor Kate Brown.

Governor Brown says an uncontrolled spike in cases will threaten our hospital capacity and force her to again shut down businesses.

Here’s what you need to know about the statewide mask mandate:

  • The mandate applies to all indoor, public spaces, such as grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, and churches.
  • Masks aren’t required for children 12 and under, although Governor Brown does encourage kids ages 2 and up to wear a mask to the extent that it’s possible.
  • Masks also aren’t required if you have an existing medical condition that makes it difficult or dangerous to wear one.
  • Other exceptions are if you’re eating or drinking in a restaurant or if you’re exercising intensely at a gym.
  • If businesses defy the mandate, Governor Brown says OSHA will investigate, though the agency previously said it has a huge backlog of work.

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