In efforts to halt the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, Gov. Kate Brown has announced a new outdoor mask mandate.

Beginning Friday, masks will be required in most outdoor environments. This includes large outdoor events — regardless of vaccination status — where social distancing is harder to achieve.

“The delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” Brown said in an announcement. “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.”

The Oregon Health Authority also recommends masks at outdoor gatherings at private residences where people from different households may attend.

This mandate does not extend to brief outdoor encounters — such as people quickly passing each other on trails or in a park.

In the announcement, State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger, addressed the growth of COVID-19 cases.

“It is much easier for people with the delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” Sidelinger said. “This is because they have one thousand times more virus in their nose — which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently.”

Sidelinger went on to emphasize how crowded outdoor events have contributed to the spread.

“We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings — even outdoors — will help slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

The new rule fits with recent statewide indoor mask mandates and does not apply to:

  • Children under five years old.
  • Individuals who are actively eating, drinking or sleeping — as well as those living outdoors, such as those experiencing homelessness
  • Individuals delivering a speech or performing outdoors.
  • Masks requirements for schools are not governed by this rule and fall under the school mask rule. Outdoor events and gatherings will be subject to the rule. Child care and youth programs will continue following existing OHA mask guidance.

While the mandate officially goes into effect this Friday, health officials encourage people to start wearing masks outdoors immediately.

Madison Temmel is the Charles Snowden intern at The News-Review. She can be reached at and 541-957-4217.

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Madison Temmel is the education reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at and 541-957-4217.

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(26) comments

Huge bbfan

It's odd how teachers and healthcare workers are all for mandates for the common folk but when they are mandated to be vaccinated It's "hold on there, I don't think so ".


With Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine approval, 151 health systems nationwide now REQUIRE mandatory vaccination for their workforces, many by October 1.

CHI Health, the parent Company of Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg is requiring all 12,000 of its U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by November 1 or face termination.


FEMA has deployed 24 EMTs to central and southern Oregon. This clinical support is desperately needed as many hospitals are dealing with an exhausted workforce and staffing shortages. The EMTS went to the following hospitals:

5 to Asante Rogue Valley Medical in Jackson County

5 to Asante Three Rivers in Josephine County

3 to St. Charles in Bend

3 to St. Charles in Redmond

4 to Providence Medford

4 to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg


Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company health plan $200 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the airline’s top executive says is necessary because the average hospital stay for the virus costs the airline $40,000.

And yet, Douglas County Commissioners do nothing different to save lives.


Oaks Park cancels Oktoberfest over COVID-19 concerns. Hillsboro Rotary Club’s “Hometown Heroes Parade” has been cancelled. Oregon Symphonic Band canceled an outdoor concert in Sherwood due to concerns of community virus spread.

Meanwhile every winery and City here in Douglas County continues to hold Super Spreader events mindless of our overloaded hospitals.


Portland Trail Blazers, Rose Quarter to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at events.


Another reason to avoid the Chicom NBA


You only have to look at the heat map at to understand why Gov. Brown HAD to do this: Douglas County and friends. Here are the culprits of the new and more deadly pandemic (in order of highest level of crime against humanity and including only those above 100 cases a day per 100,000 people): Douglas County (154), Josephine County (143), Curry County (115, and note how cozy those three counties are), Union County (112), Gilliam County (105), Morrow County (105), and Wallowa County (101). You're still number 1, Douglas County. Don't you ever forget that.


This woman is a special kind of stupid. Wear masks outdoors? Really! And just what will that do? Fresh air and sunshine kill the virus chances of catching it outdoors are next to nil. Where is the scientific basis for her announcement? There is none. It appears the “authorities” believe the only way to prevent infection is to have a seat at a table in a restaurant. You must wear a mask walking in and out of the restaurant, but miraculously after you sit down, you’re safe. Ask Nancy Pelosi, she had a hundred guests at a fund raiser the other day who were seated shoulder to shoulder at a table, no masks.


I agree. These rules only apply to certain people because it is all about politics. Kate Brown is one of them.....a power hungry dictator.


Previous Comment made by dljones54; "And I am thankful for the decisions our commissioners are making for the good of the citizens and businesses in our community!"




I didn't see Obama worried about masks at his birthday party....I wonder why?


Why in the world are you hung up on Obama? What does he have to do with the price of tea in China?


Obama is one of the power hungry elitists who doesn't have to follow the rules set for the rest of us. People need to start waking up or we will never see normal again.


A key measurement of where the pandemic’s infection rates is hitting hardest is the number of adjusted per capita cases — how many new cases per 100,000 population. It allows for a rough comparison between counties of different sizes. There were 340.6 cases per capita statewide.

Oregon's current epicenter of the delta variant infection growth is Douglas County which reported 1,128.6 cases per capita this week, up from 813 the week before. Josephine County is close behind with a per capital rate of 1,012 per capita, up from 919.6 the week before.


240 new Covid cases were reported in Douglas County today by the Oregon Health Authority (below link). The County Commissioners Recovery Team continues to NOT report data four days per week even though Douglas County is suffering RECORD cases, hospitalizations and deaths and no longer provides information on tracing of new Covid cases due to the sheer volume.

Douglas County reported the HIGHEST per capita Covid cases and deaths over the past week of ALL counties in Oregon. No Oregon County is higher. The same can be said for today's data.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tracks the vaccination status of each COUNTY in the United States, including VA Hospitals and Tribal sites, and reports on it daily (below link). According to the CDC, 48.9% of Douglas County’s total population has received their first dose of vaccine today and 43.1% are fully vaccinated.

2,247 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Douglas County over the past two weeks which calculates to a 14-day case rate of 2,001.8 today, which is ten times higher than the maximum case rate of 200 previously required for in-dining restaurants, bars, theaters and health clubs to remain open. These are AGAIN all new records.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 918 new coronavirus cases and 15 deaths today and reported a RECORD 59 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,781 new coronavirus cases and 30 deaths today in Oregon. Oregon’s 7-day positive test rate is 9.8% today.

There are 92 ICU beds and 422 non-ICU beds available throughout Oregon today according to the Oregon Health Authority. There is currently a RECORD 1,022 Oregonians hospitalized with Covid, a RECORD 285 in ICU and a RECORD 152 Oregonians on ventilators.

The Oregon Health Authority also tracks hospital statistics for seven different regions in Oregon. Region 3 consists of Douglas, Coos, Curry and Lane Counties. The OHA reported there are 6 ICU beds and 89 non-ICU beds available in Region 3 today. A RECORD 217 coronavirus cases are hospitalized in Region 3 today. A RECORD 60 Oregonians are in ICU and 32 Oregonians are on ventilators in Region 3. 457 new coronavirus cases were reported in Region 3 today.


Unless it is Brookdale, I hope you don’t have loved ones in a Douglas County Long-Term Care Facility. Brookdale in Roseburg is the ONLY Long-Term Care Facility in Douglas County that meets the requirement that 80% of its residents and staff are fully vaccinated according to the Oregon Health Authority (below link). Below are the percentages of residents and staff that are fully vaccinated for every other facility in Douglas County. Several of the names should be familiar because of the high number of deaths reported at those facilities.


Forest Glen Senior Living-----------------12%-----------32%

The Pines at the Landing------------------20%-----------74%

The Landing Senior Living-----------------20%-----------78%

Riverview Terrace----------------------------21%-----------86%

Adams House Assisted Living------------28%---------100%

Aiden Senior Living at Reedsport-------29%-----------56%

Curry Manor-----------------------------------30%-----------87%

Timber Town Living-------------------------34%----------91%

Ashley Manor-Roseburg-------------------36%----------89%

Callahan Court Memory Care------------37%----------86%

Callahan Village Assisted Living----------40%----------83%

Chantele’s Loving Touch Mem------------46%---------82%

Umpqua Valley Nursing Center-----------50%---------77%

Bridgewood Rivers Assisted Living-------56%---------84%

Rose Haven Nursing Center----------------67%---------74%

The following Long-Term Care facilities did not provide the OHA with data as requested and should be considered suspect.

Applegate Place

Amamere at Oak Park


[thumbup] What a great service you are doing, Mike. Please keep up the number-giving and truth-saying and reference-giving.


I was listening to Dave Muller on OPB's Think Out Loud program. His guest reported that at Forest Glen Senior Center in Canyonville, 30% of residents have been vaccinated and, get this, 12% of the staff.


melrosereader: that's criminal. Or ought to be.


Why doesn't someone report on the local VA? President Biden called for the entire VA to vaccine-up. Something tells me that the VA staff are taking that as advice instead of a federal mandate.


Please write Governor Brown and ask her to reinstate control of restrictions on a county by county basis as she did earlier. She can be emailed through the following link:

Comment deleted.

Governor Brown serves the State. Our commissioners only seem to serve themselves and businesses.

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