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When Does the Oregon Mask Mandate End?
Asking for a friend who is really upset with Governor Brown

According to the New York Times Oregon is one of five states that has a statewide mask mandate. Nine states have banned local mask mandates. Why does Oregon, who prides itself as a policy leader on so many issues, lag on this one?

According to Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford), “Contrary to the Governor’s recent maskless escapades back east, she’s currently directing the Oregon Health Authority to draft permanent mask rules. Oregon’s current mask rules do not allow any number of unmasked individuals in indoor spaces while not actively eating or drinking. Oregonians are ready to move forward, get back to work and grow our economies, they are not fans of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ mentality.”

Promises broken is not new for Governor Brown. What Oregonians thought was a clear roadmap to reopening the economy and discarding those infecting masks once 70 percent of adults were vaccinated was achieved in late June. But, here we are facing permanent masking rules without any real correlation between the vaccinated and new COVID cases.

At Thanksgiving OHA said new cases were down and infection were down too. Pat Allen, director, said “a steady drop in new infections during the past month allowed for a lifting of Oregon’s order mandating masks in large public gatherings outdoors.” Now that they are claiming success due to high vaccination rates, why not give Oregonians the option.

The Blaze conducted a study of cases over 229-days found that mask mandates are actually counterproductive. Even though conducted on the original COVID-19, variants have had smaller particles making the study more valid. The difference on a daily average was 10 cases more in states with mask mandates.

OHA established a Rules Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from faith-based organizations and the hospitality sector they claim covers stakeholders. The discussion was to get agreement on implementing the “indefinitely permanent” proposed rule. The “permanent” nature of the rule is because the law doesn’t allow for a temporary rule to go beyond 180 days. Their response is that it can be repeal at any time.

The public is skeptical that the rule is legal, and tends not to believe OHA’s assurance that the rule will be terminated when no longer needed. It does seem that reduced cases over the past month warrants a termination of masks now, especially since the Omicron variant has light flu-like symptoms. So, if not now, when?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-12-12 09:07:02Last Update: 2021-12-12 10:02:45

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