In light of the statewide face covering mandate, Deschutes County announced that they will begin distributing close to 130,000 masks to local nonprofits, chambers and cities.
The State of Oregon and Business Oregon provided the masks, and they are intended solely for public use. They're disposable and reusable (if they are clean); however, they are not washable. Distribution efforts begin Friday, and are geared towards preventing another round of business closures that could result from a significant spike in COVID-19 cases.
Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair commented, “Wearing face coverings is one of the easiest ways we can support local business and keep Central Oregon open. If we don’t stabilize COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County, we may have to take steps backward in our re-opening process. That’s the last thing any of us wants to see. Our local businesses want to stay open. Our kids want to go back to school in the fall. Let’s work together to make that happen.”
In the press release, Deschutes County Health Services reminded locals that wearing a face mask does not minimize the need to practice social distancing, avoid large crowds and wash hands regularly. DCHS also suggested wearing a face covering outdoors in areas where maintaining 6 feet of distance from others would prove difficult.
- Cayla Clark
- Enjoy the warm Bend sunshine, but remember to wear a face covering if you cannot maintain a safe distance from others - even outdoors, local health officials remind the public.
Prevention efforts are becoming increasingly important. The Oregon Health Authority warned of a possible dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases if Oregonians continue ignoring guidelines. In a Friday statement, state health officials stated, “The bottom line is that the disease is spreading more rapidly than expected and that since reopening, Oregonians have not consistently modeled the behavior needed to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
OHA linked recent outbreaks to social gatherings like birthdays, graduation celebrations and fraternity parties, and to other gatherings where masks are not mandated, such as group fitness classes.
- Deschutes County will be providing disposable masks to community partners beginning Friday.