SALEM, Ore. -- Soon face coverings will be required in indoor public spaces statewide, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday.
The new requirement takes effect July 1. It applies to businesses and members of the public.
Initially, face masks were only required in eight Oregon counties.
“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4 holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference."
The announcement says face coverings help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and may help prevent the state from having to close businesses down again as other states are doing.
It also advises Oregonians to keep Fourth of July celebrations small and local.