To our guests:
This is information that we have shared with our team to better prepare them for when the mask mandate is lifted in Oregon (scheduled for 11:59 PM Friday, March 11). We encourage you to read this so you may literally be on the same page as our team. We thank you for continuing to follow our mask requirements indoors through March 11, and be prepared to wear a mask in our shuttles beyond that date.
Remember that regardless of mask mandates being relaxed, wearing masks (ideally a N95 or KN95) and getting vaccinated are still our best lines of defense against a serious COVID infection. Thank you for acting responsibly and respecting the choices of those around you.
To our team:
We know you may have some questions regarding the different messages between the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) new guidance on masks and Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Mask Mandate. We wanted to break all of that down for you so you know what to expect in the coming weeks. The following information is based on what we know today and could change at any time.
A couple important things to note: The CDC provides guidance and local Health Authorities/Governments create mandates, laws, etc. based on that guidance. There are times when the CDC might act before the State does and vice versa. We are currently in one of those times as the CDC has relaxed masking guidelines but we are in a state that has a Mask Mandate in place. The Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) follows OHA’s rules when it comes to masks so, when you’re at work, you’ll need to continue wearing a mask for now.
OHA’s Mask Mandate in a nutshell– OHA’s Mask Mandate currently requires that people wear masks at all times when indoors, at work or in public spaces unless they are actively eating or drinking (or in a private office with no other occupants and doors closed). OHA has announced the plan to end the Mask Mandate on or before March 31st with a current plan for moving to “Masks Optional” on March 12th.
CDC’s guidance in a nutshell– The CDC shared new guidance on Friday recommending that local health authorities develop plans for mask use based on hospital capacity. The CDC has created “COVID 19 Community Levels” of Low, Medium and High. The CDC’s masking guidance is now based on what COVID 19 Community Level your county is in. We may start to see County Health Departments providing mask guidance specific to their area soon rather than Statewide Mandates. You can find all the details here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html.
Regardless of location, masks will continue to be required on public transportation, airplanes and health care settings beyond the mandate being lifted, including on Mt. Hood Meadows shuttles.
Don’t throw away your masks! There’s a good chance they will be needed again.
• This is a reprieve but as we’ve learned, things can change at any moment with new variants or increased cases putting a strain on local hospitals.
• Many people will still need to wear masks indoors or may choose to do so for various reasons.
Some of which may be:
• Comfort level and personal safety
• They may have been exposed to COVID (masks will still need to be worn indoors for 10 days after an exposure)
• They may have recently recovered from COVID (masks will still need to be worn indoors for 5 days after recovering from COVID)
• Patrol, DPS & Mountain Safety are required to wear masks indoors by Oregon OSHA
• They may be immunocompromised/high risk or have family that is
• They may have young children or elderly family members at home
• They may be growing an epic mustache while waiting for the perfect day to unveil their masterpiece
RESPECT OTHER’S CHOICES. If someone wears a mask after masks become optional, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t ask them to justify their choice to you as it may be personal/medical.
Thanks for everything you’ve done to keep your Team Members and Community healthy!
Your Local Epidemiologist Assessing Risk