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Coronavirus

Oregon Extends COVID Workplace Mask Rule Indefinitely

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon has adopted a rule that indefinitely extends coronavirus mask and social distancing requirements for all businesses in the state.

State officials say the rule will be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

Last week Oregon recorded the fastest-growing COVID-19 infection rate in the nation. The rule includes requirements and guidelines regarding air flow, ventilation, employee notification in case of an outbreak, and sanitation protocols.

The rule has prompted a flood of angry responses, with everyone from parents to teachers to business owners and employees crying government overreach. Opponents have raised concerns that there is no sunset date or specific metrics for when the rule would automatically be repealed.

Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon’s department of Occupational Safety and Health, says the final rule includes more detail about the process and the criteria used to make the decision to repeal the rule.

So far, about one-third of Oregon’s population has been fully vaccinated.

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