SALEM — Oregonians no longer must wear masks in public outdoor settings, state health officials said Tuesday, Nov. 23, lifting a COVID-19 pandemic mandate in place nearly three months.
The state has since late August required that everyone wear a mask in a public, outdoor space where social distancing isn’t possible, regardless of vaccination status.
The decision to lift the mandate reflected the state’s success cutting cases and hospitalizations, said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen.
But, Allen made clear, the road to a full recovery is still long.
People should expect to keep wearing masks indoors “for some while,” Allen said, at least into next year. “We don’t know enough to be able to set a useful target at this time.”
“We are not yet at a point where we can consider relaxing mask guidelines for indoor settings,” Allen said. “We’re still dealing with limited hospital capacity for all patients.”