Day: August 24, 2021

Governor Kate Brown Announces Statewide Outdoor Mask Requirements

Governor Kate Brown today announced new statewide outdoor mask requirements to help stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Effective Friday, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) also strongly recommends masking for outdoor gatherings at private residences when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.

“The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants we’ve seen, and it has dramatically increased the amount of virus in our communities. Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another.”

Under the Governor’s direction, the OHA rule will require masks for all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — in outdoor settings in which individuals from different households are unable to consistently maintain physical distance. The rule does not apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another on a trail or in a park. While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are strongly recommended in those settings when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“It is much easier for people with the Delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “This is because they have one thousand times more virus in their nose – which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently. We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings – even outdoors – will help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The rule aligns with the exceptions outlined in the recent statewide indoor mask requirements, and does not apply to:
• Children under 5 years old;
• Individuals who are actively eating, drinking, or sleeping — as well as individuals living outdoors, such as persons experiencing houselessness;
• Persons playing or practicing competitive sports, or engaged in an activity in which it is not feasible to wear a mask — such as swimming;
• Individuals delivering a speech or performing — such as with outdoor music or theater;
• Mask requirements for day-to-day operations at K-12 schools are not governed by this rule, and will instead continue to fall under the school mask rule. Outside public events, spectator events, and gatherings of the general public on K-12 school grounds will be subject to the rule. Child care and youth programs will continue to follow existing OHA mask guidance; and
• In addition, entities subject to the ADA must continue to comply with that law.

The OHA rule will go into effect this Friday, August 27, however Oregonians are strongly encouraged to immediately start wearing masks outdoors, as outlined above.

Governor Brown continued, “The combination of vaccines and masks is the most powerful way we can fight this latest surge of COVID-19 and save lives. Vaccination continues to be the best way you can protect yourself and your family from the Delta variant, and the most effective way we can help our exhausted nurses and doctors, who are working around the clock to treat Oregonians sick with COVID in our ICUs — the majority of which are unvaccinated individuals. With the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine this week, we have additional reassurance that the vaccines are safe and effective.”

Additional Materials:

A video message from Governor Brown is available here.

Original News Bulletin found here.

34th Court Beach Drive Access Closure extended through December 31, 2021

Due to ongoing safety concerns due to Fire, Rescue and Police services not being able to access the beach due to the beach drive accesses blocked by parked vehicles, the beach drive access located at NW 15th St is closed until noon on September 07, 2021. NW 34th Ct. beach drive access will remain closed through December 31, 2021. Amendment to City Council Resolution 2021-34 (City Council Resolution 2021-38).

Governor Kate Brown Orders Flags Lowered to Half-Staff in Honor of Sergeant John Burright

Governor Kate Brown today ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, August 25, in honor of Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant John Burright. Sergeant Burright died on May 4 after an almost 20-year fight with disabling injuries sustained on September 4, 2001, in the line of duty while he was assisting a driver on I-5; he retired from OSP in 2002 due to his injuries. OSP Senior Trooper Maria Mingano and Albany Police Officer Jason Hoerauf were killed the day of the incident. Sergeant Burright’s death represents Oregon State Police’s 35th line-of-duty death.

This flag order applies to the date of Sergeant Burright’s memorial service (August 25) at the Salem Armory. The service is open to the public, and there will be will be an emergency vehicle procession from Albany to the Salem Armory prior to the start.

“Sergeant John Burright’s service and dedication to Oregon is not forgotten,” said Governor Brown. “My heart goes out to his family and loved ones, and I extend my sincere appreciation, and the gratitude of all Oregonians, for his many years of service to the communities of Roseburg, Albany, and Salem.”

For more information on Sergeant Burright’s memorial service, and to learn how to make a contribution to the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, visit here.