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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: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
Medford
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