Gov. Brown directs state agencies to require masks in K-12 schools

Governor Kate Brown says she has directed state education and health officials to require masks indoors for K-12 schools this coming school year.

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 10:50 AM
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 5:36 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown says she has directed state education and health officials to require masks indoors for K-12 schools this coming school year, following recent guidance from the CDC and a nationwide uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Brown said that she has asked the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to create a rule that would require masks indoors for K-12 schools statewide for the 2021-22 school year, "in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recently updated guidance, and based on the latest science on the spread of the Delta variant."

“The science and data are clear: the Delta variant is in our communities, and it is more contagious,” said Governor Brown. “My priority is to ensure our kids are able to safely return to full-time in-person learning this fall, five days per week and with minimal disruptions. With many children still ineligible to be vaccinated, masks are an effective way to help keep our kids safe in the classroom, the learning environment we know serves them best."

Few southern Oregon school districts had yet to make a firm decision on whether to require face coverings as of this week, though many were leaning toward making them optional or recommended. The ODE's current guidance leaves the decision up to individual districts and schools, but requires more stringent quarantine protocols for positive cases where mask are not required.

After the CDC updated its mask guidance earlier this week, the Oregon Health Authority quickly came out with a similar prescription at the state level, calling for universal mask use indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. As of this week, the new guidance constitutes a strong recommendation and not a mandate.

“In the meantime, as we ask Oregonians statewide to mask up in public indoor spaces, we will continue working hard to vaccinate more people so we can finally beat this virus once and for all," Brown continued. "Vaccines remain the most effective and best way to protect ourselves and our families.”

The Medford School District originally planned on sharing their locally-developed mask guidance with their Board of Directors on Monday, but are canceling the meeting due to Brown's rule. 

"To those who submitted comments for the meeting, we will be forwarding those to the state," said Bret Champion, superintendent of Medford School District. "If you would like to submit a comment you may do so until Monday via our form or you may send it directly to the Governor’s office."

Champion said in a statement that the district will continue working to provide the best possible education for students, while prioritizing the health and wellness of students, staff and the rest of the community. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 47°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Klamath Falls
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 35°
Warmer temperatures with haze returning
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events