Oregon seeks to keep COVID mask mandate ‘indefinitely’

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While some states are reopening businesses or dropping mask mandates altogether, Oregon is bucking the trend — floating an idea to require masks and social distancing indefinitely.

One of the state’s top health officials wants to require masks and social distancing in all businesses indefinitely.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Michael Wood, administrator for the Oregon department of Occupational Safety and Health department.

But not everyone is happy about the possible extension of the mask rules, which under state law expire on May 4. The agency has gotten a record number of public comments and nearly 60,000 people have signed a petition rejecting the proposal.

“When will masks be unnecessary? What scientific studies do these mandates rely on, particularly now that the vaccine is days away from being available to everyone?” said state Sen. Kim Thatcher, a Republican from Keizer, near the state’s capital.

Wood said he is reviewing the feedback and will make a final decision by May 4.

With Post wires

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