8/11/21 – Salem, OR
Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon and to announce new statewide indoor mask requirements. To help stop the highly contagious Delta variant from spreading further, masks will be required in all indoor public settings, effective Friday, August 13. The Governor was joined by Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist.
“Because of the Delta variant, yesterday we had over 2,300 COVID-19 cases reported––the highest number since the virus first landed in Oregon—and hospitalizations are also at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “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.
“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 latest science is clear that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are able to spread the Delta variant. Masks are simple, and they are effective. Wearing a mask should give you confidence that you are not infecting others, and they are also our best bet at keeping our schools and our businesses open.”
The Governor also reminded Oregonians to treat forecast high temperatures seriously. She urged Oregonians without air conditioning to make a plan now to find a cooling center in their area by connecting with 211. She is also encouraging Oregonians to sign up to receive emergency notifications by visiting ORAlert.gov. And with high temperatures intensifying wildfire conditions, she is urging everyone to do their part to prevent fires at a time when most of the state is under extreme fire danger.
• Cooling Centers (211)
• Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses
• Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness…
Additional Materials from Today’s Press Conference
• Oregon Indoor Mask Requirement Fact Sheet
• A recording of today’s press conference — with an American Sign Language simulcast — is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 11:55 mark.
• An HD recording of today’s press conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.
• A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks is available here.