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Oregon Governor Kate Brown today issued updated guidance from the Oregon Health Authority regarding the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces for Lincoln, Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk and Hood River Counties, effective Wednesday, June 24.

The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting those businesses.

“As we learn more about COVID-19, evidence continues to mount that face coverings play a critical role in reducing transmission,” said Gov. Brown. “We have to live with this disease for a while. And that is going to require adjusting our habits – taking the simple step of covering our nose and mouth in spaces where we interact with others.

The guidance applies to businesses including grocery stores, gyms and fitness studios, pharmacies, public transit agencies, personal services providers, restaurants and bars, retail stores, shopping malls, and ride sharing services. In counties that have entered Phase 2 of reopening, the guidance also applies to swimming pools, indoor entertainment facilities, indoor venues, and indoor recreational sports facilities.

“We wear face coverings to protect the doctors and nurses working day and night in hospitals and clinics around the state. We wear them to protect our elderly neighbors. We wear them to protect kids in cancer treatment and people with compromised immune systems. We wear them to protect the grocery store clerk and the pizza delivery gal. We wear them because we don’t want to accidentally kill someone," Gov. Brown said. “It’s really that simple. Face coverings save lives.”

Under the new guidance, businesses must require employees, contractors, volunteers, customers and visitors to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield unless an accommodation or exemption applies. For example, face coverings are not required in restaurants and bars while eating or drinking, or at swimming pools while swimming.

Children under 12 years of age, as well as people with a disability or a medical condition that prevent them from wearing a face covering, are not required to wear one. (This guidance applies to customers and visitors of businesses, and is separate from the guidance and recommendations issued by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education regarding children in schools).

Acceptable face coverings can be cloth, paper, or disposable, including bandanas and homemade masks.

Counties not included in the face coverings guidance may request to opt in at any time.

Additional guidance and information about the reopening process under the Governor’s plan to build a safe and strong Oregon is available at coronavirus.oregon.gov.

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