Oregon’s recently implemented face mask mandate will now include children over the age of five, Governor Kate Brown said in a press conference Wednesday morning.
Previously, any adult entering public spaces — either outside or inside — was required to wear a face mask if more than six feet of distance could not be maintained. Now, the list of people that must wear masks in indoor or outdoor public spaces includes kids five and older.
This is a precaution that Brown says is due to the potential spread that could occur if children were to return to school. The update will go into effect on Friday, July 24.
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Additionally, Brown said that the maximum of 250 people in indoor venues will be reduced to 100 for the time being — assuming safety precautions are followed, and distance is kept.
The social gathering mandate that states no more than 10 people can gather indoors, people who do not come from the same household, will stay in effect statewide.
In positive news, outdoor visits will be permitted at long-term senior care facilities, assuming said location does not have any active coronavirus cases and distancing measures are kept in place.
“If we don’t slow the spread of the virus, I will have no choice but to force wide-spread and difficult closures again,” Brown said on Wednesday.
“Today, Oregon hospitals have an adequate number of ICU beds and ventilators to serve the people with COVID-19 … but we can’t ignore the looming danger,” said Oregon State Health Officer Dr. Sidelinger at the conference. “If left unchecked, Oregon is on the trajectory to overwhelm our healthcare system with coronavirus in the future.”
A 10 pm curfew in all restaurants and bars has been put in place to “curtail the amount of time people have to interact and will have fewer opportunities to spread,” adds Dr. Sidelinger.
Cases in Oregon have seen record growth in the most recent reports from the Oregon Health Authority. Due to the rising numbers of cases and deaths, Oregon has been reinstating regulations that helped keep Oregon off of the hot-spot list in the early days of the pandemic.