▶️ New outdoor mask mandate begins; some taking it in stride

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Effective today, people are required to wear face coverings while outdoors if they cannot maintain six feet of physical distance.

“I’m expanding Oregon’s face covering requirement,” Gov. Kate Brown said on Monday. “Starting on Wednesday, July 15 face coverings will also be required outdoors if you can’t maintain a physical distance.”

“You know at first we were like ‘This is so weird,’ but now we’ve gotten used to it,” said Andrea Verity of Portland, Oregon.

“If it keeps things open and people safe… then we are willing to do it,” added Mason Jones, also of Portland.

“Even when it gets busy on a hot summer day like today, the beaches seem pretty crowded, but, as we walk through people are doing their best to social distance,” said Jeff Hagler, Park Steward manager for the Bend Parks & Recreation District. “We hope that as people get in situations where they can’t do that that they will put on their mask.”

Perhaps 20% of people encountered Wednesday in Riverbend Park and in the Old Mill District were wearing masks.

“Anytime you are outdoors and cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet and you are with people you don’t live with, please, please, please put on your face covering,” Governor Brown said.

“Mostly I’m wearing the mask when I can’t be six feet away from others so like in a crowded environment like this or on the water where everybody is kind of clustered together,” said Mariah Simonton of Bend who was carrying her standup paddle board back to her car. “Once I get out a little further and I’m kind of by myself then I take it down. It’s pretty convenient to have it around my neck and just pull it up when I need it.”

Ralph Hanson of Sonora, Calif. said he was already in a groove of wearing a mask at his place of work.

“We are required to wear masks at work when we are within six feet of other people,” he said.

Brown said she hoped she wouldn’t have to go the route of Texas and California and close bars and restaurants but “nothing, nothing is off the table.”

“I saw a post on Instagram saying it’s a new requirement to wear them out in public and I get it,” said Caleb Collins of Bend. “The pandemic is going on and it’s getting worse and worse but I’m used to wearing it so I don’t get bothered by it.”

“I need to go back to my job so I need to stay healthy,” said Ralphie Hanson of Sonora, California. He said he wore a mask outdoors most everywhere he went on vacation while in Central Oregon.

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