Governors announce mask rule change March 12

The governors of Oregon, Washington and California jointly announced Monday that March 12 will bring an end to the indoor mask mandate in all three states. In Oregon, this bumps up an earlier date of March 19 announced by health authorities and the governor's office.

"With declining case rates and hospitalizations across the West, California, Oregon, and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance," the governors stated in a joint press release. "After 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California, Oregon, and Washington will be adopting new indoor mask policies and moving from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools."

State policies do not change federal requirements, which still include masks on public transit.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said, “Two years ago today, we identified Oregon’s first case of COVID-19. As has been made clear time and again over the last two years, COVID-19 does not stop at state borders or county lines. On the West Coast, our communities and economies are linked. Together, as we continue to recover from the Omicron surge, we will build resiliency and prepare for the next variant and the next pandemic. As we learn to live with this virus, we must remain vigilant to protect each other and prevent disruption to our schools, businesses, and communities — with a focus on protecting our most vulnerable and the people and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

In Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority rules requiring masks in indoor public places and schools will be lifted after 11:59 p.m. on March 11. Other state and federal requirements, such as those for health care settings, public transit, and other specialized settings, will remain in place for a period of time.


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