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graphic explaining mask mandate in health care settings lifting April 3

Starting April 3, workers, patients and visitors in Oregon health care settings will not be required to wear masks.

OHA is canceling some parts of the state rule that require workers in health care settings—such as hospitals, mobile clinics, ambulances, outpatient facilities, dental offices, urgent care centers, counseling offices, school-based health centers, complementary and alternative medicine locations—to wear masks. The requirement has been in effect since August 2021.

Note: some health care settings may decide to continue requiring masks even after the statewide requirement is lifted.

In addition, the executive order that gave hospitals needed flexibility to respond to a surge in respiratory infections will expire Monday, March 6.

The decision to end statewide health care setting mask requirements aligns with decisions in other states, including Washington.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, said the lifting of Oregon’s health care setting mask requirement stems from data in recent weeks showing overall decreases in circulation of the three respiratory viruses that triggered a surge in visits to hospital emergency departments and intensive care units last fall. As of today, COVID-19 test positivity is at 10% and is expected to continue dropping; influenza test positivity is at 1.2%; and RSV test positivity is at 1.6% (antigen tests) and 3.5% (molecular tests).

The month-long lead-up to the ending of Oregon’s health care mask requirement gives the health care system, local public health authorities and other health partners time to prepare for the change, including adjusting policies, training and procedures to ensure continued patient safety and access. It also gives members of the public, particularly populations at increased risk of severe disease—communities of color, tribal communities, rural communities, lower-income communities, those with underlying medical conditions, seniors and parents of vulnerable infants—a chance to plan health care visits and protective measures.

Wearing a mask remains an effective way to reduce transmission of respiratory viruses. We encourage you to wear a mask in any setting, including health care settings, if you are sick, have a health condition that puts you at high risk for severe illness from a respiratory virus exposure (or you live with someone at high risk), or at any time wearing a mask makes you feel more comfortable.

In order to protect yourself and your family and community, we strongly encourage you to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. To find a vaccine or booster near you, go to Vaccines.gov, or call 211. If you’re not sure what vaccine or booster you should get, click here for a printable guide to all COVID-19 vaccines broken down by age, brand and immunocompromised status.


If you need mental health support for any reason, help is out there.

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Click here for a list of mental health resources

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