SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced that the state will immediately follow guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which ease indoor mask-wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people.
Brown said in a video statement Thursday that the new CDC guidance means Oregonians who are fully-vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.
She also said the guidance makes clear that vaccines are the fastest way to get back to doing the things “we all love” and returning to a sense of normalcy.
The federal guidance issued Thursday still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues.
Mask requirements also will remain in place in Oregon schools this school year, Brown added.
The Oregon Health Authority in coming days will provide updated guidance for businesses, employers and others to allow the option of lifting mask requirements and physical distancing after verifying vaccinations status, Brown said. Some businesses may choose to keep mask rules in place, for now, she 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,” she said. “If we all continue to do our part, the pandemic is coming closer to an end.”
Currently, people over the age of 12 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Oregon.