During a press conference on Friday, June 4, Gov. Kate Brown said face mask, physical distancing and business capacity requirements would be eliminated statewide when 70 percent of Oregon adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
As of the governor’s announcement, the state was about 127,000 shots shy of the mark, at 66.2 percent. Tens of thousands of doses have been added to the count since, and at the present rate, 70 percent could be achieved by next week. The running seven-day average as of Monday was 14,545 doses per day, but it’s not clear how many of those are second doses and thus would not contribute to the percentage total.
Once 70 percent of Oregonians age 18 and older have received a shot, Brown said, the state will take the following steps:
• Oregon’s risk level framework, including all county-based metrics and health and safety restrictions, will be lifted. This includes mask, physical distancing, and capacity limit requirements.
• The state will not require masks and face coverings in almost all settings, with some exceptions following federal guidance, including airports, public transit, and health care settings.
• Because the same mask and social distancing rules will apply for all individuals — vaccinated or unvaccinated — vaccine verification will not be necessary.
• It will still be strongly recommended that unvaccinated individuals and other vulnerable individuals continue to wear masks and practice other health and safety measures to stay safe from COVID-19.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, which has been primarily responsible for enforcing guidelines through its oversight of workplaces, said Tuesday it would repeal parts of its “permanent” COVID-19 rule in accordance with the governor’s announcement.
“Oregon OSHA intends to repeal the basic face covering and physical distancing requirements of its COVID-19 rule when the state reaches 70 percent of its adults vaccinated against the virus with at least one dose,” the agency said in a press release, which noted that the agency would begin discussions with stakeholders June 14 to determine if other provisions should be repealed.
Lincoln County Public Health Deputy Director Florence Pourtal told the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners on Monday that the county currently has the fifth highest vaccination rate in the state, as well as the fifth lowest infection rate.