Face masks. Photo: Chas Hundley

The Centers for Disease control and Prevention today issued updated federal guidelines for those fully vaccinated and said that masks and social distancing are no longer necessary in most situations for the fully vaccinated. 

Oregon will follow suit, Governor Kate Brown announced Thursday afternoon. 

“Fully vaccinated” is defined as those two weeks past the date of their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the new guidelines

“You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,” the CDC said. 

“Starting today, Oregon will be following this guidance, which only applies to fully-vaccinated

Individuals,” Brown said in a video statement. “That means Oregonians who are fully-vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces.”

The CDC guidelines said that masks and social distancing should still be maintained by all while using public transportation, while in healthcare facilities and jails and prisons, and in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. 

“Nothing is changing for schools this school year, and I expect education staff and students to continue to wear masks and physically distance, as outlined in our Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance,” Brown said.

Brown promised that further guidance would be forthcoming this week from the Oregon Health Authority for businesses and employers to have the option to lift masking and social distancing requirements for those who are verified to have been fully vaccinated. 

“Some businesses may prefer to simply continue operating under the current guidance for now, rather than worrying about verifying vaccination status, and that’s fine,” Brown said. 

Brown said Oregonians should either get vaccinated or continue to wear a mask and social distance. 

“If you’re already vaccinated, thank you. I encourage you to help a friend or loved one make their appointment. If you have questions about vaccines, that’s totally normal. Call your health care provider to get your questions answered, or visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov for great resources,” the governor said. 

More information about finding a vaccine in Washington County is available at the Washington County Health and Human Services website or by dialing 211. 

Portland’s Oregon Convention Center (777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard), retrofitted into a streamlined vaccine facility, is offering walk-in vaccines in May, but will cease offering first doses after May, allowing only second doses to recipients in June, and closing later that same month. More information for the Oregon Convention Center vaccine can be found at all4oregon.org.