Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has announced that starting on Friday masks will be required outdoors in public areas where people cannot engage in social distancing, irrespective of vaccination status.
Under Brown’s direction, the Oregon Health Authority rule will require masks in outdoor settings where people from separate households cannot consistently stay physically distanced, according to a press release.
Today we have 1,000 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. I’m continuing to take actions to protect Oregonians and sa… https://t.co/6yZsEFoMPf
— Governor Kate Brown (@Governor Kate Brown)1629835180.0
Although this will not apply to outdoor groups located at private residences, the OHA recommends mask usage in that scenario as well when people from separate households do not consistently stay socially distanced.
There will be various exceptions to the outdoor masking requirements, some of which include kids younger than 5-years-old, people participating in or practicing competitive sports, and people who are living outside, like the homeless.
The outdoor masking requirements come in addition to indoor masking requirements that are already in effect in the state.
“Current data suggest the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings is minimal,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.”
One person responded to a tweet from Brown about the outdoor mask requirements by describing the move as “absolutely psychotic overreach.”
“I’m as pro-mask and pro-vaccine as they come, but this seems insane,” another person tweeted.
But others were pleased about the move.
“Thank you for taking action on these tough decisions. No matter what you read here, most people in Oregon support your mandates to keep us all a little safer,” a tweet stated.
“Thank you Gov. Brown. I just wish everyone would take this pandemic seriously,” another tweet said.