Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recently revised the statewide face covering guidance, which impacts all employers in the state. The new guidance mandates that face coverings be worn in all “public and private workplaces,” including any indoor or outdoor place where people work. As we previously reported, private offices had been omitted from prior guidance, although the OHA had previously indicated that it intended to require face coverings in private offices. This new guidance clears up any ambiguity; masks or face coverings, are now required in all workplaces unless employees are in a work space where they can consistently maintain six feet of distance from other people. In addition, the OHA is strongly recommending that masks or face coverings be worn in all indoor workplaces even in situations where an employee can maintain six feet of distance. The new guidance includes an updated definition requiring that a face covering fit snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face. The new guidance discourages the use of face shields, except for in very limited circumstances such as a medical condition that prevents someone from wearing a mask or when people need to see mouth movements such as when communicating with a hearing-impaired individual.
Governor Brown has also extended Oregon’s state of emergency for an additional 60 days, until January 2, 2021. This action allows the governor to continue issuing executive orders to regulate public health and safety with regard to COVID-19 (coronavirus) issues.
Tips: Review your policy regarding face coverings in the workplace and determine if you need to make any changes. If necessary, update your written safety protocols and communicate new requirements to affected employees. See also our model Social Distancing Policy and contact your Vigilant safety professional for assistance.