Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown mandated the wearing of face coverings in public indoor spaces for eight Oregon counties. As of July 1, that mandate extends to all of Oregon—including people right here in Central Oregon.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health is the agency in charge of enforcing the new rule, Brown’s release stated. Thus far, OSHA has been the principal arbiter of COVID-19 related enforcement. Numerous Central Oregon businesses are facing thousands in fines for failing to comply with health and safety guidelines.
In Bend and Central Oregon, wearing masks among the general public has been something of a mixed bag. Anecdotal observations have shown about half of people choosing not to wear them in places including grocery stores. And restaurants? Well, eating while wearing a mask is a complicated task. Still, ongoing studies of the more scientific kind have consistently shown that mask wearing can slow down transmission of respiratory illnesses, including the novel coronavirus.
While those charts you see circulating on social media—showing the percent effectiveness of wearing a mask versus not wearing one—have been shown to be mostly false due to there being “no scientific consensus exists on the efficacy of homemade masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” according to Snopes, actual studies have indicated that masks can help.
A review published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies in late April concluded that, “community mask use by well people could be beneficial, particularly for COVID-19, where transmission may be pre-symptomatic. The studies of masks as source control also suggest a benefit, and may be important during the COVID-19 pandemic in universal community face mask use as well as in health care settings.”
With the big 4th of July holiday approaching, Brown said she is concerned about gatherings.
- Unzip the mouth and voila! You can sip a cocktail (with a straw you bought from home).