Oregon officials begin process of extending COVID mask mandate indefinitely

Oregon under liberal Gov. Kate Brown has been one of the most restrictive states in country since pandemic began.

Updated: December 5, 2021 - 10:09am

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Oregon officials have begun the process of making the state's indoor mask mandate -- one of the few uch statewide pandemic mandates remaining in the country -- more permanent.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) assembled a Rules Advisory Committee last week to assess making the current 180-day indoor mask mandate permanent, soliciting input from community, business, faith and medical leaders, according to KATU-TV.

"Permanent means indefinite. It doesn’t necessarily mean permanent," Dr. Paul Cieslak, OHA's medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations, told KATU. "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."

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown lifted the state's outdoor mask mandate last month but continues to require masks indoors in all public settings.