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January 29, 2023
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COVID-19 News & Information

Masking Recommendations

Layered prevention strategies — like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks — can help prevent severe illness and reduce the potential for strain on the healthcare system. Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.

You may choose to wear a mask or respirator that offers greater protection in certain situations, such as when you are with people at higher risk for severe illness, or if you are at higher risk for severe illness.

It is important to wear a mask or respirator when you are sick or caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19. When caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19, a respirator will provide you the best level of protection.

Know the COVID-19 Community Level where you live

COVID-19 Community Levels are a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.

Considerations for specific groups of people

Some people are more likely to become very sick with COVID-19 

  • People who are older 

  • People with certain medical conditions 

  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people 

People at increased risk, and those who live with or visit them, should 

  • Talk to their healthcare provider about whether they and the people around them should wear a mask or respirator when the COVID-19 Community Level is medium.  

  • Wear a mask or respirator that provides them with greater protection when the COVID-19 Community Level is high 

Follow Local, State, and Federal Requirements

The State of Oregon still requires everyone 5 years of age and older to wear a masks in healthcare settings, on public transportation and in airports. Read the full Oregon Administrative Rule.

Healthcare settings include:

  • Hospitals

  • Doctor offices

  • Pharmacy windows and waiting areas

  • Dentist offices

  • Urgent care facilities

  • Long-term care and assisted living facilities

  • Behavioral health residential programs

  • Counseling, recovery and rehabilitation centers

  • Dialysis centers

  • School-based health centers

  • Any office where health care is provided

  • In addition, senior centers or independent living facilities may continue to require a mask, face covering or face shield, and physical distancing. Providers of in-home care, home health care or hospice services are still required to wear a mask or face covering when providing care.

Masks are no longer required in schools and general indoor settings. However, some people in Oregon may choose to continue wearing masks. Oregon Health Authority recommends people who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, at higher risk for complications, 65 and older, or who live with someone in one of these categories should continue to mask. Individual businesses and school districts may choose to set their own mask rules.

Resources on masking

Reporting violations

Complaints for employers and employees should be reported to Oregon OSHA. OSHA will work with employers who are making an effort to comply and won’t conduct inspections or issue fines immediately as businesses implement masking protocols, including the necessary signage. However, the state is also taking actions against willful breaches of the requirement.