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Oregon lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents following CDC guidance

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The Oregon State Digest
The Oregon State Digest
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By Emily Scarvie

(SALEM, Ore.) Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday that the majority of Oregon’s mask and social distancing restrictions will be lifted for fully vaccinated people after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance, KATU reports.

The CDC’s new policy says that people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks in most indoor settings or outdoors in crowds. In crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, homeless shelters and prisons, masks will still be required.

“Starting today, Oregon will be following this guidance, which only applies to fully vaccinated individuals,” Brown said in a statement. “That means Oregonians who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.”

Oregon will follow CDC guidance and still require masks on public transportation, in hospitals and healthcare settings, long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.

Brown also said:

In the coming days, the Oregon Health Authority will be providing updated guidance for businesses, employers and others to allow the option of lifting mask and physical distancing requirements after verifying vaccination status. Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status, and that’s fine. Oregonians have a choice of how they protect themselves and others from COVID-19; either get vaccinated, or continue wearing a mask and following physical distancing requirements.

The governor recently announced that most of the state’s restrictions will be lifted when 70% of Oregonians 16 and older have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Brown also said that once counties can show that 65% of their eligible population has received at least one dose, they can submit a vaccine equity plan and be moved down to the “lower risk” level.

On Wednesday, OHA Director Pat Allen said Oregon is on track to get restrictions lifted by July.

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