CORONAVIRUS, Health, Oregon

Oregon Health Authority will lift indoor mask mandate by end of March

In a sudden turnaround, the Oregon Health Authority announced Monday it will lift the state’s indoor mask requirements by the end of March for indoor places, including schools.

The announcement came on the same day that the agency filed a permanent state rule requiring masks indoors in public places with the Secretary of State’s Office. The rule was put in place to ensure mask requirements continued. The temporary rule expires on Tuesday.

The health authority indicated in a statement that its decision was guided by a slowing in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“Over the past week, the average number of newly diagnosed cases has dropped about 40% in Oregon,” it said in the statement. “As of today, Oregon’s seven-day total in COVID-19 hospitalizations inched down another 1%, with 1,072 people reported hospitalized with COVID-19.”

The agency said it expected hospitalizations and cases . . .

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