SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority released updated guidance on the state's face covering requirements, generally expanding them in multiple settings including workplaces and outdoor public spaces by filling in some few gaps that existed in the previous guidelines.
"In particular, the guidance now requires that people wear face coverings in all private and public workplaces including classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and workspaces, unless someone is alone in an office or in a private workspace," OHA said in a statement.
According to the new guidance, face coverings are now required in all private and public workplaces; in outdoor and indoor markets, street fairs, private career schools, and both public and private colleges and universities.
"Face coverings are recommended in place of a face shield," OHA said, "except in limited situations when a face shield is appropriate such as when communicating with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired and needs to read lips."
There are a dwindling number of exceptions for public situations in which a face covering is not required, based on Monday's OHA guidance:
- Employees, contractors and volunteers: Masks, face coverings or face shields are strongly recommended in all indoor work spaces, but not required when at or in a location where the employee, contractor or volunteer does not have a job that requires interacting with the public or with other employees, such as a large warehouse and at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people. When six (6) feet of distance cannot be maintained, such as in a restroom or break room, masks, face coverings or face shields are required.
- Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required while eating or drinking.
- Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required when engaged in an activity that makes wearing a mask, face covering or face shield not feasible, such as when swimming.
- Masks, face coverings or face shields can briefly be removed in situations where identity needs to be confirmed by visual comparison, such as at a bank or if interacting with law enforcement. If possible, limit speaking while the cover is off as speaking generates aerosols and droplets that can contain viruses.
- Individuals who have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face covering or face shield can request an accommodation from the business or indoor/outdoor space operator to enable full and equal access to services, transportation and facilities open to the public