Brown: Oregon to follow CDC lead; masks no longer required for those vaccinated

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Fully-vaccinated Oregonians no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in most public spaces, Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday, hours after the CDC eased its guidelines for face coverings.

“It is yet another sign that, if we all continue to do our part, the pandemic is coming closer to an end,” Brown said in a statement. 

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for new rules in workplaces and, eventually, schools.

“Oregon will continue to require individuals to remain masked and distanced in these circumstances. Immuno-compromised people should continue to follow the recommendations of their health care provider when it comes to personal protective measures,” she said. “Nothing is changing for schools this school year, and I expect education staff and students to continue to wear masks and physically distance, as outlined in our Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.”

Brown said in the coming days, the Oregon Health Authority will provide updated guidance for businesses and employers.

“Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status, and that’s fine,” she said. “Oregonians now have a choice of how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19: either get vaccinated, or continue wearing a mask and following physical distancing requirements.

“The new CDC guidance makes clear that vaccines are the best tool to protect yourself, and everyone around you. Vaccines are also the fastest way to get back to doing the things we all love, and to returning to a sense of normalcy.”

You can watch the governor’s remarks below.

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