As many people have heard, across the country, in Oregon, and in our own region, COVID-19 cases have increased significantly over the past two weeks. The delta variant of the virus, which is much more transmissible, is estimated to be responsible for 80% of the new cases in Oregon and in the U.S.

In response to this, and in keeping with recommendations from the CDC and OHA, I strongly encourage all residents to wear a face mask when indoors in public spaces.

The use of face masks indoors when in public settings provides protection for individuals who are unvaccinated as well as an additional level of protection from the small but known risk of infection by the virus for persons who already have been vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, even against this new variant. They remain our most powerful tool in bringing this pandemic to an end.

For those of you who still have questions or are unsure if getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the right choice for you, please reach out to your health care provider (or your friendly neighborhood public health officer!) for a discussion.

There is so much information out there, please be sure you are getting the facts from the people you trust with your health.