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Oregon Will Require People To Wear Masks Outdoors Even If They're Vaccinated

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Robby Soave | 8.24.2021 5:20 PM

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, has instituted a new mask mandate: People must now wear masks, even outdoors, and even if they are vaccinated.

The rule covers large public gatherings, though the government "strongly recommends" that people wear masks during small, outdoor social events on their own property as well.

"The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic," said Brown in a statement. "Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high. Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19."

Of course, the quicker, simpler, and vastly more effective tool is vaccination. Vaccinated individuals are significantly protected from negative health outcomes related to COVID-19, and though the delta variant is vastly more infectious than the original strain, the vaccines still make transmission somewhat less likely.

At this point in the pandemic, forcing vaccinated people to wear masks outside is an unjustifiable act of overreach on the part of government officials. It's also contrary to existing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which holds that masks are generally not necessary in outdoor settings. The CDC does state that people may wish to voluntarily wear masks during particularly crowded outdoor gatherings out of an abundance of caution, but we know that confirmed outdoor superspreader events are so rare as to be practically nonexistent.

A recent outbreak at Oregon's Pendleton Whisky Music Fest seems to have spooked local authorities; 66 of the 12,000 attendees later tested positive for COVID-19, according to........

© Reason.com

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