COVID-19: Oregon drops outdoor mask requirement

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As COVID-19 cases in Oregon continue to decrease, health officials announced they are immediately lifting statewide mask wearing requirements in crowded settings. Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to reimplement an outdoor mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents in August as the delta variant spread. At the time, Oregon was in the midst of its worst surge during the pandemic. Record daily COVID-19 cases were set day after day and hospitalizations overwhelmed the health system — a majority of people hospitalized were unvaccinated — with less than 40 intensive care unit beds available statewide.