SALEM, Ore. -- In a press conference Friday morning, Governor Kate Brown gave more information about what will happen to COVID-19 restrictions once 70 percent of adults are vaccinated.
What does fully reopen mean? Masks will "largely" no longer be required in businesses and most other places, with the exception of public settings currently outlined by the CDC such as public transportation.
"No more physical distancing," Brown added.
Schools are expected to return to a full in-person school day in the fall. Restaurants will be able to open to a full house without capacity restrictions, and people can enjoy all the events they've missed out on due to the pandemic, Brown added.
Oregon's current risk level framework, which determines county restrictions based on local case rates, will be retired once the vaccination benchmarks is hit. Brown also said that the vaccination status check guidelines will be be made obsolete, as mask and social distancing rules will be the same regardless of vaccination status.
The state will still strongly recommend that the unvaccinated and those who are medically vulnerable continue to wear masks and practice other precautions. Brown pledged that vaccination efforts will not stop once Oregon hits that target, as the risk of COVID-19 remains for people who are not vaccinated.
“This has really become a tale of two pandemics. If you are vaccinated, then you’re safe, you can carry on safely without wearing a mask and social distancing," Brown said. “If you are not vaccinated, this virus still poses a very real threat."
As of June 3, roughly 66 percent of Oregonians 18 and older have been vaccinated. There are about 127,000 shots to go before the state hits the 70 percent target.
The winners of the million dollar vaccine lottery will be announced in July, Brown said.
“I want to be very clear that we are able to reopen like this because of the efficacy of the vaccines. For those of you who are vaccinated, you’ve helped us reach this point — and you are protected from this virus,” said Governor Brown. “However, there are still Oregonians who need to take extra precautions to feel and stay safe. People battling cancer and immunocompromised Oregonians, to name a couple. There are also many Oregon kids who are not yet eligible for a vaccine.
“So, it will remain incredibly important for Oregonians to continue making smart choices. And, to respect the choices of others. Let’s respect one another as we prepare to make this transition."