Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed an executive order to lift all COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, which includes Oregon’s statewide mask mandate and county risk level system, effective June 30.
There will no longer be restrictions in place on physical distancing or capacity limits, as previously outlined in the county risk level system.
However, masks will still be required in certain setting such as airports, public transportation, and health care facilities.
Currently, 69.5% of Oregon residents 18 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is because of this success that we can move Oregon forward, and into the next chapter of this pandemic,” Brown said. “We are ready.”
In a letter to the editor July 2, Dr. Mimi McDonell, health officer for North Central Public Health District, noted the pandemic was not, however, over.
“I am incredibly grateful and proud of the compassion, ingenuity, hard work and generosity shown by the residents of our community,” she wrote. “It is important to remember, however, that although we feel very done with COVID-19, it is not quite done with us. Although low in numbers, infections and hospitalizations from COVID-19 are still happening, with the vast majority occurring in unvaccinated people. Children under 12 and some individuals are unable to receive the vaccine at this time, leaving them susceptible to infection. Those who are immune-compromised may be vulnerable to infection even after being vaccinated.
“Finally, there are still thousands of residents in our three-county region who have not yet chosen to be vaccinated.
“So while we celebrate the progress we have made, let us continue to protect ourselves and one another,” McDonnell wrote. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. If you have questions or concerns about their safety, please talk with a trusted medical provider to obtain accurate and factual information.”
Gov. Brown noted the state will now shift focus to recovery efforts and addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic on communities across Oregon.
Brown also acknowledge ongoing challenges facing the state in responding to the pandemic.
“While Oregon moves to re-opening, it is important to keep in mind the increase in COVID-19 variants present across the state,” said a press release. “Please encourage those around you to get vaccinated to protect our community and keep us moving in the right direction.”
In Washington, most pandemic restrictions were also lifted effective June 30, with a return to “usual capacity and operations,” according to the governor’s website.
However, face masks are still required for employees working indoors who are not yet vaccinated, and businesses can continue to require face mask use.
Full restrictions remain in place for health care facilities, public transportation, schools, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.