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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.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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