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Oregon state employees now required to wear masks indoors

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Employees of Oregon state agencies will be required to wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status, Governor Kate Brown announced on Friday.

Brown's office said that the new mask guidance is for Executive Branch state agencies, following recently updated recommendations from the CDC and science on the spread of the Delta variant.

The guidance requires that all state employees in any indoor state agency space wear face coverings. The requirement also applies to visitors and customers entering the offices of any such agency.

"The science and data are clear: the Delta variant is spreading in our communities and is more contagious," said Governor Brown. "This mask requirement will protect Oregonians, many of whom have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and who continue to provide essential services to Oregonians. We also must protect everyone—both agency employees and community members who visit state agencies for information, services, and resources. This new guidance accomplishes both."

Governor Brown announced on Thursday that she has directed 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.

Currently the Oregon Health Authority is recommending the universal use of masks indoors while in a public space, regardless of vaccination status. This follows the updated CDC guidance, which advised the same measure for areas with high or substantial COVID-19 spread.