OHA: Fully-vaccinated Oregonians don't need masks indoors if status is checked

(Courtesy: Oregon Health Authority)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Oregon Health Authority announced Tuesday new guidance for masks following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's update last week.

OHA says "people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors, in most public settings where vaccination status is checked." Masks will still be required in public places where vaccination status is not checked.

Businesses and venue owners will be able to establish their own, more restrictive policies about mask usage, according to OHA.

Masks requirements will no longer apply to people who are outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. However, OHA recommends that people continue to wear a mask or face coverings in crowded areas and large gatherings, such as sporting events.

The new guidance was issued after the CDC announced last week that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could stop wearing masks and stop physical distancing in most public spaces.

"Masks continue to save lives and protect people who are not vaccinated. However, last week’s announcement from the CDC emphasizes the point that safe and effective vaccines are the very best way to protect people from getting and spreading COVID.” OHA Director Patrick Allen said. "That’s why it’s safer for life to look more like normal for people who are fully vaccinated. And why people who haven’t had a chance to get vaccinated should do so as soon as they can."

According to OHA, the new guidance for Oregonians is as follows:

  • Individuals in Oregon are no longer required to wear a face mask or physically distance, whether indoors or outdoors, two weeks after their final COVID-19 vaccination dose. A “fully vaccinated individual” is a person who has received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since the individual’s final dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • However, fully vaccinated individuals are required to continue wearing a mask and observe physical distancing on public transportation and in schools, hospitals and clinics, homeless shelters, youth and adult correctional facilities and long-term care facilities.
  • Businesses, employers and faith institutions can choose to no longer require masks and physical distancing for fully vaccinated individuals or continue to require masks and physical distancing in their locations for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If a business, employer or faith institution chooses to no longer require masks and physical distancing, the business, employer or faith institution must require visitors to show proof of vaccination and review the proof of vaccination. In that case, a business would need to have a policy for checking the vaccination status of customers and employees if they are not wearing masks. Fully vaccinated individuals would need to provide proof they’d been vaccinated if they want to remove face coverings and not observe physical distancing guidelines.

OHA says the new guidance does not apply to:

  • Child care
  • K-12 schools (This guidance DOES apply to K-12 sports) (K-12 schools must comply with the Ready School, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance face covering requirements).
  • Areas within workplaces where employees live together for periods of time, such as fire-stations
  • Licensed health care facilities
  • Health care offices
  • Shelters and transitional housing
  • Adult jails and correctional facilities
  • Youth detention and correctional facilities
  • Private residences
  • Any other sector that has more specific guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority or another state agency that contains requirements and recommendations on masks, face coverings and face shields.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,961,954 first and second doses of Pfizer,1,476,963 first and second doses of Moderna and 122,119 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of Monday, 1,591,802 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 2,061,640 who have had at least one dose.

For more information about vaccination in Oregon, visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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