Oregon Health Authority Public Health Recommendations on Masks, Face Coverings and Face Shields

Effective Date: October 19, 2020

500 Summer St NE E20 Salem OR 97301

Voice: 503-947-2340

Fax: 503-947-2341

Statewide Mask, Face Covering, Face Shield Guidance

This guidance is specific to requirements for wearing masks, face coverings or face shields.

Authority: Executive Order No. 20-27, paragraphs 9 and 21, ORS 431A.010, ORS 433.441,

ORS 433.443.

Applicability: This guidance applies statewide to:

  • All businesses, as defined below.
  • All persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public
  • All persons responsible for outdoor spaces open to the public
  • All public and private workplaces
  • The general public when:
    • Visiting businesses as defined below
    • Visiting indoor spaces open to the public
    • Visiting outdoor spaces open to the public
    • Visiting all public and private workplaces

Enforcement: To the extent this guidance requires compliance with certain provisions, it is enforceable as specified in Executive Order 20-27, paragraph 26.

Oregon Health Authority Public Health Recommendations on Masks, Face Coverings and Face Shields:

  • In general, it is recommended that people wear a mask or face covering, with or without a face shield, whenever they are within six (6) feet of people who do not live in the same household.
  • It is not recommended that individuals wear a face shield instead of a mask or face covering. Face shields can be very good at blocking droplets that individuals release, but they are not as effective at limiting the release of aerosols that can go around the shield.
  • When possible, use technology that can help maintain a low risk of virus transmission:
    • Using a microphone while wearing a mask or face covering will amplify your voice while speaking to an audience, allowing more distance between the speaker and the audience, and
    • Videoconferencing allows a person to speak to a remote audience and minimizes the need for people to be in the same room with a speaker.
  • Use of a face shield alone should only be done on very limited basis. Wearing a face shield alone without a mask or face covering increases the potential for transmission of viruses to those in the same room as the individual without the mask or face covering. It is recommended that wearing a face shield alone be limited to situations when wearing a mask or face covering is not feasible, such as:
    • When a person has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering.
    • When people need to see mouth and tongue motions in order to communicate (e.g., for communicating with children in certain developmental stages or people with hearing impairments).
    • When an individual is speaking to an audience for a short period of time and clear communication is otherwise not possible. In this situation it is important to consider:

» Ways to lower risk to the audience including all audience members wearing masks or face coverings.

» Having enhanced building ventilation (see CDC’s guidance on ventilation and filtration, Ready Schools, Safe Learners – section 2j, and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ guidance).

Requirements for other businesses and sectors: There may be mask, face covering and face shield requirements and recommendations that apply to other businesses or sectors not specifically identified in this guidance. Businesses and sectors should review and comply with any mask, face covering, face shield requirements in the other applicable sector guidance that may apply.

For purposes of this guidance the following definitions apply:

  • “Business” means:
    • Grocery stores
    • Fitness-related organizations
    • Indoor and outdoor entertainment facility operators (zoos, museums, drive-in movie theaters, raceways, outdoor gardens and aquariums)
    • Indoor and outdoor licensed swimming pools, licensed spa pools, and sports court operators in Phase One and Two counties
    • Indoor and Outdoor Markets and Street Fairs
    • Indoor and outdoor recreational sports operators for specified sports
    • Outdoor recreation organizations
    • Pharmacies
  • Private career schools, except where other sector guidance applies
    • Public transit agencies and providers
    • Public and private colleges and universities, except where other sector guidance applies
    • Personal services providers
    • Restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting rooms and distilleries
    • Retail stores, shopping centers and malls
    • Ride sharing services
    • Youth programs
    • Phase Two counties only:

» Indoor and outdoor entertainment facility operators

» Indoor and outdoor venue operators

  • “Face covering” means a cloth, polypropylene, paper or other face covering that covers the nose and the mouth and that rests snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face.
    • The following are not face coverings because they allow droplets to be released: a covering that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhalation, mesh masks, lace masks or other coverings with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents.
  • “Face shield” means a clear plastic shield that covers the forehead, extends below the chin, and wraps around the sides of the face.
  • “Fitness-related organizations” include but are not limited to gyms, fitness centers, personal training, dance studios and martial arts centers.
  • “Indoor spaces open to the public” include but are not limited to indoor spaces, whether publicly owned or privately owned, where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not. In addition to the public areas of the businesses defined above, such spaces may include, but are not limited to, building lobbies or common spaces, classrooms, elevators, bathrooms and buildings or meeting rooms outside of private homes where people gather for social, civic, cultural or religious purposes.
  • “Mask” means a medical grade mask.
  • “Outdoor spaces open to the public” means outdoor spaces where at least six (6) feet of distance cannot be maintained between individuals in different households, whether publicly owned or privately owned, where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not.
  • “Personal services providers” means barber shops, hair salons, estheticians, medical spas, facial spas, day spas, non-medical massage therapy services, nail salons, tanning salons and tattoo/piercing parlors.
  • “Public and private workplaces” means indoor or outdoor places where people work, including but not limited to banks, food processing plants, manufacturing facilities, construction sites, warehouses and farms.

Businesses, Indoor/Outdoor Spaces Open to the Public, Public and Private Workplaces:

Businesses and persons responsible for an indoor or outdoor space open to the public and persons responsible for public and private workplaces:

  • Require employees, contractors, volunteers, students, customers and visitors to wear a mask, face covering or face shield, except as follows:
    • Employees, contractors and volunteers: Masks, face coverings or face shields are strongly recommended in all indoor work spaces, but not required when at or in a location where the employee, contractor or volunteer does not have a job that requires interacting with the public or with other employees, such as a large warehouse and at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people. When six (6) feet of distance cannot be maintained, such as in a restroom or break room, masks, face coverings or face shields are required.
    • Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required while eating or drinking.
    • Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required when engaged in an activity that makes wearing a mask, face covering or face shield not feasible, such as when swimming.
  • Provide masks, face coverings or face shields for employees.
  • Provide for accommodations for employees, contractors, students, customers and visitors if such accommodations are required by:
    • State and federal disabilities laws, if applicable, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects people with disabilities from discrimination in employment and requires employers to engage in the interactive process for accommodations.
    • State or federal labor laws.
    • State and federal public accommodations laws that provide all persons with full and equal access to services, transportation and facilities open to the public.
    • OHA public health guidance if applicable.
  • Post clear signs about the mask, face covering or face shield requirements.

Businesses and persons responsible for an indoor or outdoor space open to the public and persons responsible for public and private workplaces:

  • Provide, at no cost, face coverings for customers and visitors who do not have one.
  • Post signs about the mask, face covering or face shield requirement in languages that are commonly spoken by customers, visitors and students.
  • Educate employees:
    • On how to safely work and communicate with people who cannot wear masks, face coverings or face shields.
    • That they may need to replace a mask or face covering with a transparent cover such as a face shield while communicating with an individual who needs to read lips or see facial expressions to communicate.

Public and Private Workplaces:

  • Masks, face coverings or face shields are required at all times for employees, contractors and volunteers in public and private workplaces, including hallways, bathrooms, classrooms, elevators, lobbies, break rooms, meeting rooms and other common and shared spaces, unless employees, contractors or volunteers are at a private, individual workspace not shared with other people.

The Public:

All persons when visiting a business, an indoor or outdoor space open to the public or a public or private workplace are required to:

  • Wear a mask, face covering or face shield unless the individual is under five (5) years of age, except as follows:
    • Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required while eating or drinking.
    • Masks, face coverings or face shields are not required when engaged in an activity that makes wearing a mask, face covering or face shield not feasible, such as swimming.
    • Masks, face coverings or face shields can briefly be removed in situations where identity needs to be confirmed by visual comparison, such as at a bank or if interacting with law enforcement. If possible, limit speaking while the cover is off as speaking generates aerosols and droplets that can contain viruses.

Individuals who have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face covering or face shield can request an accommodation from the business or indoor/outdoor space operator to enable full and equal access to services, transportation and facilities open to the public.

For children younger than 12 years:

  • It is not recommended that children under the age of two (2) wear a mask, face covering or face shield. Therefore, children under the age of two (2) are not required to wear a mask, face covering or face shield.
  • It is strongly recommended that children between two (2) and five (5) years of age, wear a mask, face covering or face shield at all times in all indoor and outdoor spaces open to the public, particularly in places where it is likely that physical distancing of at least six (6) feet from other individuals outside their household unit cannot be maintained, and where vulnerable people may go.
  • Because children between the ages of two (2) and 12 years of age can have challenges wearing a mask, face covering or face shield properly (e.g., excessively touching the face covering, not changing the face covering if visibly soiled, risk of strangulation or suffocation, etc.) we urge that when masks, face coverings or face shields are worn by this age group, that they be worn with the assistance and close supervision of an adult. Masks, face coverings or face shields should never be worn by children when sleeping.
  • Individuals five (5) years of age and older must wear a mask, face covering or face shield when visiting an outdoor space open to the public if at least six (6) feet of physical distance cannot be maintained between individuals in different households.
  • There may be mask, face covering and face shield requirements and recommendations that apply to other sectors applicable to children. Refer to other sector guidance, including child care, schools and summer camp locations.

Additional Resources

Document accessibility: For individuals with disabilities or individuals who speak a language other than English, OHA can provide information in alternate formats such as translations, large print, or braille. Contact the Health Information Center at 1-971-673-2411, 711 TTY or COVID19.LanguageAccess@dhsoha.state.or.us.