PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced that she will expand Oregon’s face covering mandate statewide ahead of the holiday weekend.

All Oregonians beginning Wednesday will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. Previously, it was only mandated in some of the state's most populous counties, including Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Polk, Marion, Multnomah and Washington 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,” Gov. Kate Brown in her statement on Monday. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.”

Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of the disease because droplets from people's breath can carry the virus to others without people realizing it, Brown said.

She said she did not want to close businesses again as has happened in other states that are seeing a spike in cases. She said Oregon Occupational Safety and Health will take the lead in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.

She also urged people to keep July 4 celebrations small and local, saying the state saw a lot of new cases following Memorial Day.

The state previously has said that it is working with counties to make face masks available for free as needed.

FOX 12 on Monday spoke to a winery in Newberg who said they don't see the rule being much of an issue.

Michelle Kaufmann with Chehalem Winery says only several tables fit into their tasting room once social distancing is accounted for. The tasting room says it made some other big changes when it opened back up in May.

"One of the first things we did was we required masks for employees when they were on site and we encouraged guests that when they were coming in or if they are here and they get up to go to the restroom or go outside that they wear one as well," Kaufmann said.

Now, it's no longer a suggestion. Kaufmann says they would rather put up with the frustrations of masks now than have to close back down in the near future.

I mean, masks, yes, they’re frustrating, but they’re really here for everyone’s safety," Kaufmann said. "And once guests come and sit down and they enjoy they’re flight, they are encouraged to take them of ... we want to move forward, we want to get back to that new sense of reality. People want to get out, so how do we do that in a safe and responsible way, not only for ourself, but for our fellow community members."

More than 200 people in Oregon have died and nearly 8,500 people in the state have tested positive for the disease, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Those numbers include two additional deaths and 146 cases reported by the authority on Monday.

Oregon Hospitals on Monday afternoon released a statement in support of Brown's decision:

“The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems stands in support of Governor Kate Brown’s statewide public face covering requirement," the statement said, in part. "With cases on the rise rapidly across the state, it is now more important than ever to take this step to protect our loved ones, our neighbors, and our communities. Further, if we are to co-exist alongside the disease, wide adoption of public face coverings is an essential factor in keeping our businesses and public spaces open. OAHHS urges all Oregonians to wear a face covering in public, and to help reinforce this critical message by talking to your friends and family about the importance of wearing a face covering in public.”

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(15) comments

DeathMerchant

ALL test samples are sent to the state lab for evaluation. I'll just leave it at that.

DeathMerchant

Anyone not complying will be spanked and sent to their room!!! I find it curious that ALL samples taken in Oregon are sent to the state health lab for evaluation. " Hello, Gov Brown?? Where do you want the numbers to be today??"

Txpyr

Wonder what the numbers for the flu and pneumonia are for this year, something tells me they're down. Latest on wearing masks is that it's not a good idea. A doctor came forward stating as much, but we need more courageous doctors to do the same. Like everything else, if you're sick stay home, the rest of us want to get on with life instead of dwelling on the disgust of what's being done to us.

Insomn

You guys pretend like this is weapons grade incompetents on Browns part. This is what she wants. They changed the test to a quicker and easier method, expanded testing, forced hospitals to stop elective surgeries, and told hospitals to focus solely on covid while they fund the testing. Then reality there isn't enough tests to go around and they are backlogged on results. Yet, pushes the narrative as if it's gotten worse. All the while she's done everything she can to pretend she's trying to stop it. While allowing massive nightly protests/riots to destroy the city costing millions. The pretending to be standing for free speech. While tyrannically forcing a law that is unconstitutional and criminal on her part. I'm tired of her being allowed to violate her oath of office. Pretending to be such a good person when she truly is a power mad despot! A national example needs to be made out of politicians like her. Life in prison for being willing to burn our country to the ground just to be queen of it's ashes.

DeathMerchant

Well said and obvious to unbiased, free thinking people.

PDX2MtHood

KPTV censoring my comments. I wont live in fear. I will be enjoying a nice day at the coast. If you're still scared of the virus that the majority of Oregonians test negative for then stay home.

Sun Tzu

The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this plandemic, and we can all make a difference. Sign the recall petition. The sooner we can get right amount of signatures, the sooner we can get this inept, incompetent person out of office. The damage and economic harm she has done to Oregon, and continues to do on a daily basis, is reprehensible and irreparable.

Sign the petition.

Beyondthewhy

OMG Queen Katie looks old! Now she's sending her OSHA thugs to enforce her whims.

PDX2MtHood

Notice how there is no mention of the virus related to rioting and looting but OMG Memorial Day the horror! Go kick rocks Kate we are done living in fear.

Husky Loyalist

Since her stacked state supreme court gave her unlimited powers then what do your expect? She is a despot. Of course, just like the nursing homes, instead of addressing the hot spots she does it the lazy way and includes the whole state. Another poke in the eye by doing this right before Independence Day. She is a fine corrupt Marxist.

DeathMerchant

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a phone line tap on the lines between the DNC and blue state governors ??

Frederick Fukov

So..I know that the dems have a virtual lock on state and major city local politics, but politics is supposed to be about compromise. I submit a motion, that if all of us have to wear a breather mask, then the governor needs to put a bag over her head. Really, I think it's only fair.

sagebrush

Maybe then, she could get a date.

Blason

So I have no rights in this state. Essentially forcing us to wear masks. Can you say communism. Just saying.

Sun Tzu

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] fair IS fair

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