SALEM, Ore. -- Gov. Kate Brown has announced new statewide mask requirements that will go into effect Friday, August 27.
Masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible and regardless of vaccination status.
The rule does not apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another on a trail or in a park.
While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are strongly recommended in those settings when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.
“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” Brown said. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19."
There are exceptions to the new mandate. It does not apply to:
- Children under 5 years old
- Individuals who are actively eating, drinking, or sleeping — as well as individuals living outdoors, such as persons experiencing homelessness;
- Persons playing or practicing competitive sports, or engaged in an activity in which it is not feasible to wear a mask — such as swimming;
- Individuals delivering a speech or performing — such as with outdoor music or theater;
- Mask requirements for day-to-day operations at K-12 schools are not governed by this rule, and will instead continue to fall under the school mask rule. Outside public events, spectator events, and gatherings of the general public on K-12 school grounds will be subject to the rule. Child care and youth programs will continue to follow existing OHA mask guidance; and
- In addition, entities subject to the ADA must continue to comply with that law.
While the requirement will go into effect this Friday, Oregonians are strongly encouraged to immediately start wearing masks outdoors.
A video message from Brown is available here.