Brown backs wearing masks in public

A few of the many homemade face masks made by Keizerite Sharon Belleque.

Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new guidance regarding the use of cloth, homemade masks in public:

“This is a rapidly-evolving situation, and each day we learn more about this virus,” said Governor Brown. “Early in this pandemic, health experts advised that masks were not an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now, the CDC has updated their guidance regarding the use of cloth, homemade masks in public: they now say that wearing cloth masks in public places like grocery stores can help prevent those who are sick––particularly unknowingly infected, asymptomatic people––from spreading the virus further.

“That last point is a very important detail: wearing a cloth mask may not keep you from getting sick, but it can help you prevent spreading the virus to others.

“The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to keep following the strict social distancing guidelines we put in place early in our outbreak. Staying home is saving lives in Oregon. When you’re in public for essential activities like grocery shopping, stay six feet away from other people. Continue to wash your hands and properly cover your coughs and sneezes. I know this hasn’t been easy, and I appreciate the sacrifices Oregonians have made. The Oregon Health Authority’s projections for the outbreak in Oregon indicate that the social distancing measures we’ve put into place may be working to stop the spread of the virus, and we must stay the course.

“Like every other strategy we have used to address this crisis, wearing homemade masks will only be effective if we all work together. Continue to stay home to the maximum extent possible, and add wearing a homemade mask to the list of precautions you are practicing when you go out in public. Make sure you are still abiding by all the social distancing measures we have in place. And, please only wear homemade masks, not medical masks that are desperately needed by our frontline health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

“We are all in this together. So, let’s do everything we can to help those on the front lines of this fight.”

Additional guidance is available from the CDC and the Oregon Health Authority