LANE COUNTY-- Community members are speaking about about the statewide mask mandate that went into effect today.
This mandate requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The announcement from Gov. Kate Brown has been met with mixed reactions among the community.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Springfield resident Marlene Aden said. “People need to wear masks, or otherwise germs. You’re going to get COVID if you don't.”
Another resident agreed that this new requirement allows everyone to do their part in the community to help prevent the spread.
“I don't have a problem with it,” Springfield resident Allen Feistner said. “We’ve got plenty of woods and trees out here. You can go outside and take your mask off. I don't think it's too much to ask to put a mask on to go into a place of business if it’s going to keep you and others safe.”
Others told KEZI they do not feel Brown can force an individual to wear a mask and said they will not be wearing one indoors.
There are other measures being taken by Oregon businesses to help keep the virus out.
Liz Tippett, an associate professor at the UO School of Law, weighed in on how various businesses across Oregon are asking clients to sign liability waivers to prevent lawsuits if an individual contracts COVID-19.
“I do think one of the issues, legally, is going to be whether someone can prove that they got COVID from the business,” Tippett said. “I actually think it's going to be easier than people think, if contact tracing works well in Oregon. I think there's also going to be a question of whether courts in Oregon are going to be willing to enforce these waivers and under what circumstances they may enforce them in some but not others.”
Tippett said that one may want to think twice before signing a waiver, especially if your health is at risk.
"I think COVID is a risk that we share," Tippett said. "It's a risk that businesses have a responsibility to address through their own social distancing practices, and it's a risk that we in the public have to help mitigate through mask-wearing and abiding by social distancing. I think if everyone cooperates that will reduce the risks to everyone in the community."
Click here for more information from the Oregon Health Authority about the mask requirement, including what counts as a public indoor space.