(AP) — People in Oregon, regardless of vaccination status, will be once again be required wear masks in most public outdoor settings — including large outdoor events where physical distancing is not possible — beginning on Friday.
The outdoor mask mandate, which was announced Tuesday by Gov. Kate Brown, is part of a growing list of statewide mandates implemented in Oregon in an attempt to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19. Over the past month coronavirus cases, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant, has overwhelmed hospitals in the Pacific Northwest state.
“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 a statement. “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.