ONTARIO, Oregon — A new statewide indoor mask ordinance in Oregon takes effect Friday. Gov. Kate Brown said the goal is to reduce the spread of the Delta variant as the state recorded more than 2,000 cases on Thursday with new 9 deaths.
“New modeling from OHA and Oregon Health & Science University project that, without new safety interventions, COVID-19 hospitalizations will completely overwhelm our doctors and nurses in the coming weeks. When hospitals run out of beds, we are all at risk,” said Gov. Brown on Wednesday. “We continue to work to reach Oregonians with information and a vaccine, but it’s clear the current situation requires immediate action to stop the Delta variant from spreading further. That’s why, moving forward for the immediate future, masks will be required in all indoor public settings.”
The indoor mask requirement in indoor public settings applies to people five years and older.
An Idaho resident who travels to Ontario shared a common feeling about masks, which help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Well, I mean I will do it if have to. But I don’t like it,” said Monica Galloway.
But some locals felt more strongly.
“Personally, I think they are trying to control the massive people. I’m not going to follow up on the mask mandate. I want to live my life the way I want to live my life,” said Caleb Tester an Ontario resident.
Ontario businesses are preparing to follow the indoor mask requirement.
“We will be mandating masks again it’s going to be on the door. We will have a sign on the door. W are going to enforce it,” said Tamara Carrell, general manager at Romio’s Pizza and Pasta.
An employee at Fiesta Guadalajara said it will follow the mask mandate, but for the two establishments their concerns continue to be finding employees, each restaurant is forced to close one day out of the week.
Carrell said she will comply to avoid any issues with the state and hopes for the best moving forward…
‘We’re going to look at the positive side and hopefully, we get through this as fast as possible and people start getting vaccinated so we can get on with our lives.”
On July 29, Gov. Brown also asked for the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education to come up with a rule to require masks indoors for K-12 schools.
The Vale School District’s Superintendent Alisha McBride responded to the announcement on Facebook saying,
“This announcement came as a surprise as Vale School District staff have been developing plans to return to school under advisory health and safety protocols. The face-covering mandate does not reflect the wishes of our community. A month ago, 89.5% of Vale School District stakeholders requested that face coverings be optional in schools. This shift neither aligns with my goals nor the goals of the Vale School District Board of Directors. On July 1, 2021, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to make face coverings optional in Vale School District schools.”
For more information on the mask indoor requirement click here.