▶️ Deschutes Co. officials encourage indoor masking in public, at fair

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The CDC announced Tuesday everyone, including the vaccinated, should once again wear masks indoors.

“There remain just two ways out of this whole mess,” Dr. George Conway, Deschutes County Health Services director said. “That is for everybody to get vaccinated and everybody to wear a mask until we all are.”

A large jump in cases and hospitalizations led the Oregon Health Authority to make the same recommendation.

OHA follows CDC lead: Masks recommended for all in public indoor settings

Conway says the CDC’s decision is a fair one based on the rapid emergence of the delta strain.

“It sounds like a sensible recommendation,” Conway said.

Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang agrees.

“The vaccine is doing its job, but it’s not perfect,” Chang said. “I think it is reasonable for people to be thinking at this point about having to put masks back on again, even if they’re vaccinated.”

Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair is confident local vaccination rates will work in our favor.

“We’re definitely on the positive side of living our lives,” Adair said. “Getting back to a bit of normal, just a bit.”

The updated guidance comes just a day before the Deschutes County Fair, the largest local event in 16 months, with thousands expected to attend each day and no mask requirements in place.

“Wearing masks when indoors at the fair would be prudent,” Conway said.

As for mandates coming back locally, Chang says it is something Deschutes County commissioners should be discussing.

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