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COVID-19 live updates: Oregon to lift mask mandates for indoor public spaces

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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.7 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 905,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 64.1% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:

Feb 08, 6:54 am
Oregon to lift mask mandates for indoor public spaces, schools by March 31

Oregon will lift general mask requirements for indoor public places no later than March 31, state health officials announced Monday.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, scientists expect that about 400 or fewer people would be hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide by late March, which is the level of hospitalizations Oregon experienced before the highly contagious omicron variant began to spread. Mask mandates for Oregon schools will be lifted on March 31 to give school districts time to prepare.

However, the Oregon Health Authority said the state needs to keep mask requirements in place for now as COVID-19 hospitalizations crest and the health care system struggles to treat high numbers of severely ill patients.

The Oregon Health Authority has filed a new rule with the Oregon Secretary of State to require people to wear masks while indoors in public places. The new rule replaces a temporary one that expired Monday.

State health officials will consider lifting the general indoor mask requirement earlier than March 31 if hospitalizations decline to the levels projected by the end of March sooner than expected. Once the mandates are lifted, employers and businesses may continue to establish their own mask requirements to protect employees and customers, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

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