On Monday, February 7, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced upcoming changes to statewide mask requirements, including those for school settings. Predicting that hospitalizations for COVID-19 will fall below pre-Omicron levels by the end of March, OHA is planning to lift the general statewide indoor mask requirements by March 31.
School Mask Rules
OHA will remove mask requirements for schools on March 31 and no sooner, following spring break for most districts.
Schools may continue to require students, staff, volunteers and visitors to wear face coverings during indoor activities. Local public health authorities may also set school mask requirements.
OHA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) continue to advise the use of face coverings in school settings, but the statewide requirement will be lifted.
OHA has stated that local decision-making requires collaboration between schools, districts and other stakeholders, which include OSEA chapters.
OSEA members hold diverse perspectives on many issues, including mask requirements. OSEA has not taken a position on this issue; however, we feel strongly that classified voices must be heard in every district as new policies are developed and implemented. For more information about what is happening in your district, contact your OSEA field representative or chapter president.