LOC News

OHA Issues Face Covering Guidance, Impacting OSHA Rules

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued revised statewide mask guidance on Wednesday of this week, with revisions on Friday that expand and seek to clarify a statewide policy for masking and face covering.  The guidance is important to cities for multiple reasons.  First, Oregon Occupational Safety Health and Safety (OSHA) rules that went into effect on November 16 require employers to comply with the current OHA guidance on face coverings in order to meet workplace safety regulations.  Secondly, as property owners where the public has access, cities are required to post signage and encourage the use of face coverings in those areas.  Finally, city officials can influence public opinion and support on vital public health and safety measures necessary to curb infections and can re-enforce the importance of these steps to protect the health and safety of Oregonians. 

  • City leaders are strongly encouraged to read the guidance in its entirety, but should note the following points:
  • Face coverings are required in all indoor workspaces unless the employee is working in a private office with floor-to-ceiling walls and a door; 
  • The exclusive use of face shields is strongly discouraged, and masks with valves to ease exhalation do not meet masking or face covering requirements;
  • Signs should be placed in areas of public access encouraging mask usage; and 
  • Cities and all employers should follow the OSHA rules when they encounter a conflict or inconsistency between OHA, OSHA or local public health guidance. 

Contact:  Scott Winkels, Lobbyist, swinkels@orcities.org

Last Updated 11/20/20