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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown provided more details on Friday about how the state will lift mask mandates, social distancing and other restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 once 70% of adult residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

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© BRIAN HAYES / STATESMAN JOURNAL Gov. Kate Brown visits with teachers at Kalapuya Elementary School, as schools prepare to reopen in March, in West Salem, Oregon on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.

That could happen soon.

As of June 3, 66.2% of adults had received at least one vaccine dose. The state says 127,308 more people need to be vaccinated to reach the target.

Oregon health providers have administered an average of 20,109 COVID-19 doses per day over the past week. If that rate continues, restrictions could be lifted by the end of next week.

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At that point, Brown said, Oregon’s county-based system of business and social restrictions will be eliminated. That includes mask, physical distancing and capacity limit rules.

The state will not require masks in most settings. It will follow federal guidance requiring masks in airports, public transit, and health care settings.  

Because the same mask and social distancing rules will apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated people, employers and businesses no longer will have to verify people’s vaccination status to allow them to go maskless.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration will update workplace rules to reflect the changes.

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The state still is recommending that unvaccinated residents continue to wear masks and distance.

“For those of you who are vaccinated, you’ve helped us reach this point, and you are protected from this virus,” Brown said. “However, there are still Oregonians who need to take extra precautions to feel and stay safe.”

Some health and safety measures will remain in place for schools and child care, because children younger than 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated.

  • A normal school year will resume in the fall, with students attending school full-time, five days per week. Workplace standards, including indoor mask requirements for unvaccinated employees, will remain in place for schools and child care settings.
  • Some health and safety standards for child care providers and youth programs will remain in place.
  • Individual colleges and universities will make decisions about health and safety protocols for the coming year.

Oregon also will shift responsibility for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic from the state to local public health agencies once Brown’s vaccination target is met.

The state still will devote statewide resources to pandemic response and recovery, Brown said.

The Oregon Health Authority will continue to monitor the global pandemic and provide assistance and resources to local public health agencies and health care providers as needed. And it will work with local public health partners on continuing vaccination efforts, pandemic response and recovery.

Tracy Loew is a reporter at the Statesman Journal. She can be reached at tloew@statesmanjournal.com, 503-399-6779 or on Twitter at @Tracy_Loew.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Oregon’s economy could fully reopen by the end of next week

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