August 27, 2021
Starting today, the mask mandate goes into effect. After clarification from OHA, the GPSD has been notified that "Persons playing or practicing competitive sports" do not need to comply with the requirement. GPSD requests that all persons located on the sideline of the pitch wear a mask, or ensure that they are spaced properly from another person.
Todays update by the Governor outlined expanded mask rules to outside areas. GPSD has reached out OHA to clarify things, but until we have received clarification, see the below outline. Currently we read it as persons playing in competitive sports are not required to wear masks, but we are awaiting clarification of this.
Thanks for your patience
On Aug. 13, Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority leaders enacted an indoor masking mandate in response to surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Today, Governor Brown announced a new rule would extend that mask requirement to outside areas.
“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic,” said Governor Brown in an Aug. 24 press release. “Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high. 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.”
Beginning Friday, Aug. 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings — regardless of vaccination status — where physical distancing is not possible. You can listen to Governor Brown talk about the new rule here.
While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are still strongly recommended when individuals from different households cannot 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 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.
OHA will publish the rule as soon as it is available. For more information on other recent changes in statewide policy, click here.