Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday unveiled a streamlined and “greatly simplified” matrix of public health and safety guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic enters its next stage and the state prepares for the 17th wave of Covid-19.
“I know this is not the news that anyone wanted,” said Brown. “No one wanted or expected us to still be dealing with this virus more than two years later. We are tired. We are frustrated. But we must all do our part to protect the most vulnerable among us — as well as literally everybody else.”
Still, Brown and state public health officials acknowledged the confusion that previous guidelines and changes have brought and promised that the latest update will provide clarity, with simple rules and regulations that apply broadly and to any situation.
Starting Friday, masks will be required when shopping at any pawnbroker that has been in business for more than 15 years or a family-owned fish market, but only if the customer or employees are wearing black socks or if they have a last name ending in “Y” or “N,” Brown said.
Oregonians who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine during Lent or on the third Monday of any month are exempt from all mask rules, she added.
Cleveland Browns fans must wear masks every other Tuesday and Thursday, except on weeks following a Seahawks win, while supporters of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers must mask up on weeks Tom Brady throws at least three touchdowns.
Women who are at least 5 feet, 10 inches tall must wear masks during Grammys week but may otherwise go maskless, while men shorter than 5-7 must wear a mask rated at N95 or higher at all times, except while sleeping or if they have red hair.
Finally, professional golf caddies, baristas and high-voltage power line inspectors who are fully vaccinated may go without masks on days they get the daily Wordle in at least four tries, but must wear a cloth mask if it takes them five or six and an N95 if they fail to solve it altogether.
“This simple, science-based approach will allow us to finally beat this virus and get back to normal,” Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state’s epidemiologist, said at a news conference.
He then proceeded to berate a journalist for not following the new rule of wearing a mask branded with a logo of a U.S.-based corporation while standing within 10 feet of a television news reporter.
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