Portland, Oregon. – On Tuesday, Governor Kate Brown announced state-wide indoor mask requirements in Oregon as hospitalizations and cases of coronavirus reached record numbers in the state and the health care system was overwhelmed.
Starting Friday, people over the age of 5 in Oregon are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Brown urged local civil servants to carry out their own missions, but almost no one did.
Oregon’s latest coronavirus health and safety measures apply to all indoor public spaces, including businesses, grocery stores, indoor recreational facilities, and gyms. Also, those over 2 years old must wear a mask by public transport.
There are some mask exemptions for activities such as eating, drinking, swimming and organized sports.
Maskman Date comes when the state sets a record for the second consecutive year of COVID-19 patients admitted on Wednesday — 665. Previous records of 622 hospitalized patients were set during the November surge when vaccine doses were not yet available.
According to Brown, about 90% of the beds in intensive care units throughout the state are full, and less than five ICU beds are available in some hospital areas.
“Our hospital is full and there is no room for additional patients in need of care, despite COVID-19, heart attacks and strokes, car accidents and a variety of other emergencies,” Brown said. Stated.
It’s not just the Pacific Northwest states. In Florida, Arkansas, and Louisiana, COVID-19 has destroyed the medical system, more people have been hospitalized with the virus than at any other time in the pandemic, already straining and overwhelming limited staff.
Oregon health officials have warned that without new health and safety interventions, hospitalization with coronavirus will far exceed the capabilities of Oregon’s healthcare system in the coming weeks.
Brown described the latest health predictions as a clear reminder that the pandemic isn’t over yet, and a disappointing reminder that the dark days are still going on.
“The latest science reveals that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can spread the delta variant,” Brown said. “Masks are simple and effective.”
Oregon is the third state to join Hawaii and Louisiana, requiring vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks in public spaces throughout the state. The power of attorney appears in the surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States caused by the highly contagious delta mutant.
Some states have gone beyond masking and require health care workers and state officials to be vaccinated. On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California would be the first state in the United States to require all teachers and school staff to be vaccinated or tested for weekly coronavirus.
In addition, local officials in some Republic-led states have banned mask mandates early in the pandemic, such as Arizona and Florida, but school districts require masks before students return to school. , Currently opposed to the state ban.
Throughout the pandemic, Oregon has the lowest number of coronavirus cases and mortality rates in the country, so health officials describe Oregon as a success story. This is mainly due to the strict state regulations that were lifted at the end of June.
Last month, as Delta variants began to spread rapidly throughout the state, Brown turned to county officials to allow local control over whether to enforce mask obligations.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, city and county leaders have asked me for the ability to make local management and local public health decisions regarding COVID-19,” Brown said.
Earlier this month, the Governor announced that masks would be needed for schools from kindergarten to high school and indoor state government buildings. In addition, state health officials advised the entire state to wear masks while in indoor public spaces, with or without vaccination, but did not reinstate the obligation to use indoor masks. ..
Due to the surge in cases of coronavirus, nothing happened in almost every county in the state. Some counties have issued county hall mask orders. However, only one county (Multnomah) has announced mask requirements for all public interior spaces.
The Associated Press contacted 36 counties in Oregon this month to ask about plans to implement a mask mandate. Almost all of the 16 counties that responded said they were concerned about an increase in cases of coronavirus, but only one ordered an indoor mask and asked if they plan to issue it. Most answered “no” when asked.
“At this point, those who are most likely to adhere to Mask Mandate have already been vaccinated, so I’m not convinced that the new Mandate will be very effective in containing the Delta variant.” Gilliam County Judge Elizabeth Farah Campbell said.
County officials said they felt that the decision to implement the mask requirements should be a local decision, but as hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of COVID-19 patients, health officials ordered the governor to issue state-wide orders. Prompted.
“OHSU believes the entire state should be obscured,” Lenny Edwards, chief medical officer at Oregon Health & Science University, said on Monday. “We recognize that this is determined at the local level, but the actions of all communities lead to results at the state and even world level.”
Last week, in his final subpoena, Brown met with county leaders and elected officials to urge them to set mask requirements. The re-implementation of Maskman Date takes place 44 days after the state lifts the restrictions.
“The latest science is clear. Unvaccinated people are more likely to get the disease, but both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can spread the delta mutation. There is, “Brown said. “Masks are an easy and effective way to prevent unknowingly infecting friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.”
Sara Cline is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Oregon Governor warns that hospitals can be overwhelmed
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