Oregon Governor Reinstates Outdoor Mask Mandate Amid Surging Cases

Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Font Size:

Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday the reintroduction of statewide outdoor mask mandate applicable to every Oregonian older than five.

The new rule will go into effect Friday, and will require state residents to wear face masks in public outdoor settings where it is impossible to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the governor said in a Tuesday tweet. “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 in the announcement.

“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,” she continued. (RELATED: Proving You Can Read, Write, Do Math Is No Longer A Requirement To Graduate High School In Oregon)

“The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants we’ve seen, and it has dramatically increased the amount of virus in our communities. Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another.”

Brown added that the Delta variant had hit hard the state’s “communities with low vaccination rates,” describing how overcrowded hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have become. The governor implemented a statewide mask mandate for indoor settings earlier in August.