In light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) May 13 announcement regarding masking guidance, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reviewed and updated Oregon’s official masking guidance. This page was updated on May 19, 2021 to reflect those updates.
Note: Businesses, employers and faith institutions now have the option to adjust their masking guidance to allow fully vaccinated individuals to no longer wear a mask in their establishments. Businesses, employers and faith institutions doing so must have a policy in place to check the vaccination status of all individuals before they enter their establishment. Businesses, employers and faith institutions who do not create such policies will maintain the same masking guidance listed below, regardless of an individual's vaccination status.
If you have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents you from wearing a mask, you can request an accommodation from the business or venue or transit authority.
OHA does not recommend wearing a plastic face shield alone. While face shields can be very good at blocking droplets, they are not as good at stopping aerosols that can go around the shield. OHA recommends face shields only be used on a limited basis, for example when talking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips to communicate.
Converging studies show that wearing a mask can help protect both us and the people around us from spreading and catching COVID-19. It’s an empowering way for each of us to protect our communities, our families, and ourselves. You can find some of these studies here, here, and here.
Face coverings come in many kinds, including homemade cloth face coverings, plastic face shields, surgical masks and N95 respirators.
OHA recommends wearing a face covering or mask instead of a face shield, except in limited situations when a face shield by itself is appropriate, like talking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips to communicate.
We encourage Oregonians to continue conserving medical-grade masks for the medical professionals who need them most. Cloth face coverings are effective for most non-medical uses, and they’re reusable and washable.
Masks and face coverings are most effective when they cover both your nose and mouth. Remember to wash them regularly, and only wear them once they are completely dry.
Everyone must wear a mask in indoor public spaces like grocery stories, pharmacies, and retail stores. If someone with a disability is unable to wear a mask or alternate face covering (like a face shield), they can request a reasonable accommodation from the business. These accommodations might look like grocery store pick-up or pharmacy delivery. Learn more about the ADA and face mask policies.
For Caregivers: Remember to only put a face covering on someone who is able to adjust and remove it themselves.
Kids age 5 and older are required to wear a mask, and kids over 2 can wear a mask, as long as they’re able to remove it themselves.
Here are a few ideas to help your child feel comfortable if they feel unsure about wearing a mask or other face covering:
It’s simple: Wearing a face covering is one of the most effective things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Help us keep COVID-19 from spreading and keep Oregon’s reopening on track by wearing a face covering if you’re able.
By now, we all know that wearing a face covering is a simple step you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But what you do with them after you wear them is important, too. To minimize your risk of infection, wash hands your before and after touching your mask, and wash cloth masks daily. Masks should never be worn when wet or damp. After laundering, make sure your face covering is completely dry before wearing.
Parents, families and caregivers may be wondering what age a child should be in order to safely wear one. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under age 2. It's very important that you never put a mask or face covering on an infant (or an adult) who is not able to adjust or remove the mask themselves. This could compromise their ability to breathe. You can find more information about using face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 on the CDC website.
Wearing a face covering does not put you at risk for inhaling too much carbon dioxide.
Accessibility: For individuals with disabilities or individuals who speak a language other than English, OHA can provide information in alternate formats such as translations, large print, or braille. Contact the Health Information Center at 1-971-673-2411, 711 TTY or COVID19.LanguageAccess@dhsoha.state.or.us
Printing requests: You can download materials on this page. OHA does not offer paper versions. Please feel free to print whatever you need.
Language access: OHA is working to provide original content in languages other than English. Many of the materials in our community resources section are available in multiple languages. OHA is also providing the Google™ Translate option to assist you in reading the OHA website in languages other than English. Google™ Translate cannot translate all types of documents and may not provide an exact translation. Anyone relying on information obtained from Google™ Translate does so at their own risk. OHA does not make any promises, assurances, or guarantees as to the accuracy of the translations provided.
Website feedback: Health.Webmaster@dhsoha.state.or.us