OR Schools to Instate Mask Mandate, Combat Delta Variant

On Thursday Governor Kate Brown directed the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to require face masks in schools this coming year.  

As the COVID-19 Delta variant has begun spreading more rapidly, the Center for Disease Control has recommended continued or redoubled caution in public spaces and social gatherings. Brown said that as long as this more contagious variant is spreading, and especially while many children are still ineligible to be vaccinated, masks will be important to ensure the safety of everyone.  

Although many restrictions are lifting as more people are vaccinated and the spread of the virus is slowing, it is important to remember that we’re not out of this pandemic just yet. And for those who cannot get a vaccine yet, as well as for the very effectiveness of the vaccine itself, it is important to remain on our toes and vigilant.  

The mask rules will be in place for K-12th graders during the 2021-2022 school year, and Brown recommended that everyone continue to wear masks in public spaces. “We will continue working hard to vaccinate more people,” she said, “so we can finally beat this virus once and for all.” 

By Ardea C. Eichner