Oregon is working to implement a permanent indoor mask mandate for residents, state health officials discussed on Thursday.
The Oregon Health Authority met with a Rules Advisory Committee to discuss the mandates moving forward. The meeting included community stakeholders such as business owners and religious leaders and lasted for roughly two hours, KATU 2 ABC reports .
Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations with OHA, says that making the mandate permanent doesn’t mean it will be here forever.
“Permanent means indefinite. It doesn’t necessarily mean permanent,” Dr. Cieslak said. “We can repeal it as well, but we are only allowed to have a temporary rule for 180 days, and anything that goes beyond 180 days, we cannot extend it.”
Opportunities for public comment on the mandates will come next in the process, according to KATU 2 ABC.
Oregon has had one of the most aggressive and strict responses to the coronavirus. The state has had 394,569 coronavirus cases and 5,243 deaths since the outbreak of the virus, according to data from the New York Times.
“What I’ve been doing … throughout the pandemic is not just look how we’re doing compared to other states, but look at other countries as well,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said . “As things have played out and ebbed and flowed, we actually compare pretty favorably to most European countries.”
Some conservatives have expressed contempt over news of a permanent mask mandate on Oregon.
“Land of the free…” Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, commented on Twitter. (Click Here)
“Permanent masking, folks. They’re doing all the things we told you they would from the beginning, because COVID has made the Left go completely insane,” conservative talk radio host Buck Sexton tweeted. (Click Here)