Mask Recommendations & Requirements
Masks, face coverings or face shields are required in all indoor spaces. Read the full Oregon Administrative Rule here.
Businesses and organizations may find signs to post by visiting healthoregon.org/covidguidance under the "Business Signage" section.
Settings that may have additional guidance
The following settings may have additional masking requirements. OHA recommends that individuals check requirements before accessing services in these settings.
- Childcare Operations
- K–12 Schools: Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance
- Health Settings
- Houseless Shelters
- Correctional Facilities
- Certain workplaces as required by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA)
- Planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the United States
- U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and bus stations
- Other settings where an owner or operator has additional requirements for masking
Why wear a mask?
COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and tiny particles that contain the virus. Other people can then inhale these droplets and particles. Because the Omicron variant spreads more easily than the Delta variant, wearing a well-fitting mask is more important than ever to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- The Science of Masking to Control COVID-19 - CDC Summary
- Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Growth Rates Associated with Statewide Mask Mandates — 10 States, February 12, 2021.
- Association of Country-wide Coronavirus Mortality with Demographics, Testing, Lockdowns, and Public Wearing of Masks. December 2020.
- Mask-wearing and control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the USA: a cross-sectional study. January 19, 2021.
- Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates – United States, March 12, 2021.
- Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers : A Randomized Controlled Trial. November 18, 2020.
- "You can leave your mask on": effects on cardiopulmonary parameters of different airway protection masks at rest and during maximal exercise. March 7, 2021.
- Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance and Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Exposure. February 19, 2021.
- Strategies to minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission in classroom settings: Combined impacts of ventilation and mask effective filtration efficiency. 2021
- Speech can produce jet-like transport relevant to asymptomatic spreading of virus. Oct 13, 2020
Masking is advised for all individuals. It is especially critical for those who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons, or for whom the vaccine may not be as effective – people who are immunocompromised, undergoing medical treatment, transplant recipients, and others.
What kinds of masks are acceptable?
Face coverings come in many forms, including homemade cloth face coverings,, disposable surgical masks and high-filtration efficiency options such as N95, KN95 and KF94 respirators from trusted sources. Unless you are wearing one of the high-filtration options, wearing two masks is even better. Start with a disposable surgical mask next to the face, followed by a cloth mask on top that fits snugly so that less breath (and particles) escapes. Do not wear two disposable masks.
OHA recommends wearing a face shield only in limited situations when it is appropriate, like talking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips to communicate.
How to wear a mask
Masks and face coverings are most effective when they cover both your mouth and nose. Not all masks are washable, but cloth masks should be washed regularly, and only worn once they are completely dry.
Masks and disabilities
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 businesses that require face coverings. 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.
For children 2 years and younger
OHA strongly recommends that individuals under the age of two (2) do not wear a mask, face covering or face shield. Children two (2) years of age and older are required, however, to wear a mask on public transportation and when in transportation hubs.
Removing a Face Covering
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.
Masks and Kids
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.
Face Coverings Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
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.
Face Covering Facts
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
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