The more than year-long mandate requiring masks in public places in Oregon will soon be lifted for people who can prove they’ve been vaccinated, in accordance with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
“Starting today, Oregon will be following this guidance, which only applies to fully vaccinated individuals,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement May 13. “That means Oregonians who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.”
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Locally, a statement from St. Charles Health System stated there would be no change to current policies for its health facilities.
“Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control announced that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can stop wearing masks and physically distancing in certain places, with exceptions that include health care facilities,” a press release from St. Charles stated May 14. “This means there will be no changes to St. Charles Health System’s current policies that require masking and distancing in our hospitals, clinics and other sites. All patients, visitors and caregivers are still required to wear a mask or face covering at St. Charles.”
Meanwhile, Brown said immune-compromised people should continue wearing masks and ask their health care providers about changing their personal protective measures. Guidance for the reopening process were released on Tuesday, which specified that proof of vaccination must be a requirement to remove mask requirements.
“Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status,” Brown said. “Oregonians now have a choice of how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19: either get vaccinated, or continue wearing a mask and following physical distancing requirements.”
So far Oregon has fully vaccinated just under 40% of its total population. Earlier statements from the governor said at 70% vaccination rate among people aged 16 and over would allow the state to ditch most restrictions.