Cottage Grove is the latest city in Oregon to tighten its mask policy to battle the COVID-19 surge.
It joins Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard in requiring city employees to follow an enhanced mask policy. In Beaverton, that means staff has to wear either a KN95 mask; two masks at a time; or a mask brace. The brace is designed to improve the fit of a mask and reduce the movement of aerosols that may carry the virus.
Scott Winkles with the League of Oregon Cities said the new policies are being well accepted.
“Some cities and other employers are going down a vaccine requirement route. We have some legal collective bargaining issues with doing that. But this is a way we can add an extra layer of protection for our employees,” he said.
Beaverton City Manager Jenny Haruyama said, “We are encouraging our employees to lead by example and practice actions that will help reduce the spread and transmission of the coronavirus.
“I value the partnership with our friends at Hillsboro and the League of Oregon Cities. This is an opportunity to further health and safety within our communities and avoid unnecessary closures as we continue to stress access and availability of vaccinations,” Haruyama said.
Hillsboro City Manager Robby Hammond said, “The health and safety of our City personnel and community members during this pandemic remains a top priority, and this enhanced mask policy provides an opportunity to amplify this effort while also supporting the state’s efforts to combat the spread and impact of COVID-19.
“At its core, we are asking staff to employ stronger measures to protect colleagues, their families, and community members, and we are grateful to all of our City employees for everything they are doing to stay safe during this challenging time,” Hammond said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said masks protect both the wearer and others. But they’re not a substitute for social distancing and should be worn in addition to staying six feet apart.
So far, no cities east of the Cascades have adopted the league’s enhanced mask policy.