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UPDATE: Masks Now Required in Parts of Oregon Coast, All of Washington

Published 06/27/020 at 1:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Masks Now Required in Parts of Oregon Coast, All of Washington

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(Portland, Oregon) – UPDATE: CLATSOP COUNTY REQUIRES MASKS. Face masks are now required in two counties now on the Oregon coast and throughout the Washington coast – as well as the rest of that northern state. Meanwhile, other areas along Oregon’s shoreline are moving towards that independently of Gov. Kate Brown’s orders, with Manzanita already requiring visitors and residents to wear them in public indoor spaces. Clatsop County and LIncoln County just began the requiement. (Above: Newport's Nye Beach, in Lincoln County)

After a massive spike in COVID-19 cases this month, residents and visitors to Lincoln County on the central Oregon coast are required to wear face masks in all indoor areas and outdoor locales where social distancing of six feet is not possible. Brown set the order in place for seven counties in Oregon where coronavirus has hit the hardest: in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Lincoln, Hood River, Polk and Marion counties.

That law went into effect Wednesday for Oregon, although enforcement will depend on each county. All businesses are given the right to refuse service to those not wearing masks. Clatsop County's requirement goes into effect July 1.

Washington’s order goes into effect for the entire state on Friday.

Scientists studying the coronavirus has mostly proven that wearing masks does greatly cut the chances of spreading the disease, explained Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

"The science is clear that when we use face coverings, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze,” he said. “While some of us are wearing face coverings in public, we must increase usage to best control the virus. Washington's strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if, together, we act safely and follow health recommendations.”

Lincoln County includes the towns of Yachats, Waldport, Newport, Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach and Lincoln City. Like Washington and the other counties in Oregon, the mask order pertains to businesses and buildings such as grocery stores, fitness organizations, pharmacies, personal service providers, wineries, retail and ride sharing services, among others.

Most if not all lodgings on the Oregon coast require them while in the offices, along with other safety features. For example, Whistling Winds Motel in Lincoln City has for awhile required masks in the office and there is a plastic barrier set up between staff and guests.

Tourism businesses along both coastlines are intensely worried about more quarantines and shutdowns, with most putting great effort into not allowing the spread of the disease in their facilities, especially into the local population through visitors who might unknowingly be carrying it.

Those fears have prompted more towns along the coastline to take matters into their own hands in terms of masks. With the science being clear on this, and the economic pressures now in a very delicate balance between the state’s rising numbers and the need to keep locals working, Manzanita just instituted its own requirement for mask-wearing in public that mirrors Gov. Brown’s. With the ominous language of a “declaration of a state of emergency,” Manzanita mayor Mike Scott instituted the mask requirement as of Wednesday.

Clatsop County includes Astoria, Cannon Beach and Seaside.

However, enforcement in Manzanita is also hazy. While Gov. Brown said the requirement could be enforceable by law, Manzanita’s mayor outright said that is not happening there. He called it “self-executing. All individuals are expected to adhere to the guidance.”

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