The Oregon Health Authority’s recommendations are statewide and apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated Oregonians alike. The announcement followed a recommendation Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for masks in areas with high case counts, which would include 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties.
Gov. Kate Brown lifted a statewide mask mandate June 30 as cases were in steep decline. The state has since said repeatedly it is not implementing mandates for masks or any other COVID-19 restrictions, leaving such decisions up to counties, even as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
Multnomah County recommended masks in indoor spaces Monday.
“Today’s reported sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations in Oregon are sobering reminders that the pandemic is not over, especially for Oregonians who remain unvaccinated,” Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist and state health officer, said in a statement.
Brown echoed those comments in a tweet Tuesday.
“The delta variant is spreading across the country,” she wrote. “Take it from an expert like Dr. Sidelinger — vaccinated or unvaccinated, let’s mask up to protect our friends, family members, and neighbors from COVID-19. We can stop the spread the same way we have before, together.”
— Fedor Zarkhin