Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Thursday, July 29, that all school students and employees will be required to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the coming school year.
"The science and data are clear: the Delta variant is in our communities, and it is more contagious," Brown said. "My priority is to ensure our kids are able to safely return to full-time in-person learning this fall, five days per week and with minimal disruptions. With many children still ineligible to be vaccinated, masks are an effective way to help keep our kids safe in the classroom, the learning environment we know serves them best."
The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 first appeared in India and has spread throughout the United States, creating a resurgence of the pandemic.
According to the announcement, Brown has directed the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to create a rule to require masks indoors for K-12 schools statewide for the 2021-22 school year, in line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recently updated guidance, and based on the latest science on the spread of the Delta variant.
"In the meantime, as we ask Oregonians statewide to mask up in public indoor spaces, we will continue working hard to vaccinate more people so we can finally beat this virus once and for all. Vaccines remain the most effective and best way to protect ourselves and our families," Brown said.
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