OHA to lift mask mandate on March 12

Jake Oeck
Staff Writer

The mask mandate has been a long, difficult, sometimes itchy journey, but at last there’s word that it will soon end. The Oregon Health Authority reported that at the latest the mask mandate will be lifted on March 12.

This has many people excited that finally instead of a “new normal” we may actually return to the real normal.  Of course there are some with reasonable questions about the effect of this, and a lot of people are torn.

“I think the mandate being lifted is good and bad, we have to get back to normal at some point and most states have already lifted it.  I think it’s not the best situation for people if their family has health issues,” sophomore Jenna Wallace said. 

While some are concerned about potential spikes in COVID-19 cases and other health concerns, on the other side of the issue, people are excited for potential benefits.
“I think it’ll be great to see everyone’s faces. I think relationships, especially between students and teachers, will benefit without them constantly having to enforce mask wearing,” freshman Christian Knott said.

Most can relate to a time when a mask made it difficult to fully understand facial expression, meaning, or even to hear what was said. This could definitely hinder a teacher’s ability to get the message across the way they want it to. Communication can already be difficult under normal circumstances, so hopefully getting rid of that major interference will help.

Governor Kate Brown released a report explaining, “With declining case rates and hospitalizations across the West, California, Oregon, and Washington are moving together to update their masking guidance. After 11:59 p.m. on March 11, California, Oregon, and Washington will be adopting new indoor mask policies and moving from mask requirements to mask recommendations in schools.”

It’s promising to not only hear these changes happening in theory but to have confirmation of real changes being made. Regardless of the exact timing, one thing is sure, we are quickly approaching the end of the mask mandate.

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