Face Coverings

The following rules went into effect statewide on Friday, July 24.

  • Face coverings are required for everyone ages five and up.
  • Face coverings are required when exercising indoors (e.g., at a gym, dance studio), plus outdoors when you can’t physically distance.

Statewide Face Covering Requirement: Effective Wednesday, July 15, Oregon’s face covering requirement was expanded to apply to outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. Read press release. As of July 1, face coverings are required in indoor public spaces in all Oregon counties. 

Violence and discrimination are a daily experience for communities of color. Racism and racist reactions to Black, Indigenous and people of color wearing face coverings is a reality. And yet we know face coverings can help people stay healthy and save lives during this pandemic. Washington County does not tolerate discrimination or violence toward individuals because of their race, ethnicity or identity.

Detailed guidance on the new face covering requirements is available on OHA's website.


How do face coverings help? Studies show some people with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms and others may transmit the virus before they show symptoms. Simple cloth face coverings can help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Cloth face coverings made from household items or common materials at low cost can be used as an additional public health measure. Bandanas, scarves and ski masks can be used. Having multiple or folded layers of fabric works best. Patterns to sew your own face coverings can be found online.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under age two. It is very important that you never put a mask or face covering on an infant (or an adult) who is not able to adjust or remove the face covering themselves. This could compromise their ability to breathe.

How to use a cloth face covering: When wearing a cloth face covering, make sure:

  • To clean your hands before putting it on, and after touching it or taking it off.
  • To use the ties or ear loops to put it on and take it off.
  • Your mouth and nose are fully covered.
  • It fits snugly against the sides of the face, with no gaps. The tighter the weave and the thicker the cloth, the better it will fit your face and provide protection.
  • You don’t have any difficulty breathing.

Wash after every use with soap and warm water.

Face coverings might be itchy. Be careful when adjusting it and avoid reaching under it to touch your nose or mouth.

Health Officer Dr. Baumann explains further and demonstrates how to put one on and take it off safely in this KOIN segment. "When I wear a face covering, I protect you," said Dr. Christina Baumann. "When you wear a face covering, you protect me."

Important information for employers: According to Governor Brown, employers are required to provide face coverings for their employees. Washington County has collected information on a number of businesses that make and sell cloth face coverings. Washington County has not vetted the availability or qualification of any of the vendors listed. Washington County is not endorsing the use or consideration of any of these vendors. All businesses should perform their own research. Find our list here.

Organizations may be eligible to receive PPE and non-medical supplies from the Emergency Operations Center. More information here.


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