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Oregon face covering requirement goes into effect statewide

Governor Kate Brown announced the new mandate on Monday, saying that it would begin on July 1. Under the guidelines, masks are required for indoor public spaces.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 10:21 AM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 10:39 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — A mandate from Governor Kate Brown that face coverings be worn at public indoor spaces throughout the state of Oregon is now in effect. Brown announced the expanded requirement on Monday, setting July 1 as the effective date.

“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” Brown said on Monday. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4 holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference."

Previously, only eight Oregon counties had the same requirement, largely in the northwest area of the state where coronavirus cases are most prevalent. Speaking about the expanded mandate, Governor Brown cited rising infection rates and a viral modeling report provided to the Oregon Health Authority that showed considerable potential for further spread.

Under the new face covering guidelines, masks will be required in all businesses — including grocery stores, gyms, pharmacies, public transit, salons and barber shops, restaurants, retail stores and shopping malls, and in ride shares.


RELATED: Gov. Brown extends COVID-19 state of emergency for another 60 days


Governor Brown said that the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be taking the lead on enforcement of the statement requirement, but the responsibility will largely fall on businesses to make sure that both workers and patrons are complying.

"Our expectation is that employers enforce the requirements, and that would include more than just posting a sign saying those are the requirements," said Aaron Corvin, public information officer for OSHA. "Our expectation is that employers would engage with guests and visitors in a very polite way, to remind them of the requirement for facial coverings."

Corvin said that the customers or guests of a business represent a potential source of infection for workers, which is where the agency's authority comes in. While there is no specific penalty outlined right now for violations, Corvin said that willful non-compliance with the directive could result in a substantial fine.

Governor Brown did not issue a new executive order for the mask policy, but Executive Order 20-25 — which lays out the rules and processes for Oregon's reopening — includes multiple sections that say the Governor can modify aspects "as necessary" to then be expressed through Oregon Health Authority guidelines.

Brown has said that the main impetus behind the mask requirement is to avoid having to roll back reopening and shut businesses down again, which has occurred in several states that have seen a resurgence in COVID-19 infection.

At least one local business, Superior Athletic Club, announced this week that it would not enforce the letter of those guidelines — which require masks in fitness centers except during strenuous exercise. Other companies have quickly embraced the new requirement.

NewsWatch 12 will be checking in with more local businesses this week to find out how they are adjusting to the face covering rules.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 72506

Reported Deaths: 896
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah16587234
Washington1013599
Marion9082139
Clackamas602377
Umatilla432549
Lane425042
Jackson376830
Malheur238742
Deschutes229115
Yamhill169616
Linn139222
Polk121416
Douglas92118
Klamath8444
Jefferson81411
Benton7847
Union7796
Morrow6547
Lincoln61615
Wasco52419
Josephine5234
Columbia4883
Coos4213
Hood River3961
Clatsop3590
Baker2783
Crook2196
Grant1341
Curry1332
Tillamook1260
Lake1241
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1200624

Reported Deaths: 19116
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3908917623
San Bernardino921641129
Riverside857691437
San Diego80018997
Orange767611577
Kern40632448
Fresno37994481
Sacramento36579566
Santa Clara33732476
Alameda29116511
San Joaquin25741502
Contra Costa23571261
Stanislaus21585424
Tulare20634308
Ventura19379175
Imperial15960356
San Francisco15377160
Monterey14753116
San Mateo14148170
Sonoma12049157
Merced11550179
Santa Barbara11340135
Kings1068787
Solano1004481
Marin7704129
Placer635468
San Luis Obispo612936
Madera605085
Yolo473775
Shasta471847
Santa Cruz435828
Butte389459
Sutter314415
Napa298817
El Dorado23154
Yuba198110
San Benito186516
Lassen17733
Tehama164925
Mendocino148522
Nevada11849
Tuolumne9818
Lake90919
Glenn8918
Humboldt8509
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Amador55416
Mono5453
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1580
Modoc1310
Mariposa1302
Alpine500
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Medford
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Few showers on Monday
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