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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Oregon, Kansas Set to Require Face Coverings

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Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday that people throughout Oregon will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces starting Wednesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces, she said in a news release.

Face covering requirements were mandated in eight counties last week. Over the past month, Brown said the disease has spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties.

Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of the disease because droplets from people’s breath can carry the virus to others without people realizing it, she said.

She said she did not want to close businesses again as has happened in other states that are seeing a spike in cases. She said Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.

In a similar vein, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says she will issue an executive order mandating the use of masks in public starting Friday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The evidence could not be clearer — wearing a mask is not only safe, but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown,” the Democratic governor told reporters Monday.

Kelly’s executive order would require every Kansan to wear a mask if they are around other people. She said her administration will issue specific guidance later this week and will work with the attorney general’s office to implement the policy.

Local officials would enforce the policy.

“”This is all we have to fight this virus and it is up to each of us to do our part,” Kelly said.

Kansas health officials reported on Monday at least 14,443 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 905 since Friday. The state also had six more deaths from COVID-19, bring the total number of deaths in the state to 270. Kansas reported that 1,152 people had been hospitalized. since May.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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