OHA may lift indoor mask mandate sooner than March 31

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 10:53 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are dropping across the state of Oregon and the state is getting closer to ending its statewide indoor mask mandate.

OHA announced that it would lift the mandate no later than March 31, 2022. However, the state is on track to where the mandate could be lifted sooner than that date.

As of Wednesday there are 776 patients currently hospitalized in Oregon with COVID-19. OHA said the state needs to be around 400 or fewer hospitalizations to consider lifting the mandate sooner. In a statement to FOX 12, OHA’s Dr. Dean Sidelinger, health officer and state epidemiologist said, “We are encouraged to see the number of patients in the hospital who test positive for COVID-19 decreasing. This trend follows a decrease in reported COVID-19 cases. OHA will continue to monitor the trend and consider lifting the indoor mask requirement for public places earlier than March 31 if the number of hospitalizations decreases to 400 earlier.”

Some Oregonians we spoke with said they’re happy to see the mask mandate will soon be lifted.

“I’m all for it, I’m so sick of wearing masks I think it’s ridiculous honestly,” Ashleigh Heaton said.

However, others think it’s still too soon.

“It should be here forever you know you might as well be extra safe and there’s no reason that we should be getting too comfortable you know what I mean,” Zoe Tregor said. While the statewide indoor mask mandate could end before March 31, that date is set for schools in Oregon to decide whether or not to require masks in schools.