The Oregon Health Authority announced eight new coronavirus deaths and 266 new cases as it put in place stricter requirements for face coverings and encouraged people to choose masks over face shields.
New state requirements and recommendations for face coverings expand when and where people must wear masks, to include all workplaces, even if workers can maintain a social distance. People must also now wear masks in outdoor markets, street fairs and both private and public universities.
The health authority is now recommending that people choose masks over face shields because shields don’t contain air escaping from the sides or below.
Monday’s coronavirus case count was below recent rolling averages, which have exceeded 300 new cases per day since Oct. 7. But the drop is unlikely to reflect a trend – case counts on Mondays are traditionally low and the Oregon Health Authority predicts ever-increasing infection numbers, at least into early November, if transmission rates don’t go down.
Oregon last week also recorded a high test positivity rate, at 5.8%, on 28,960 tests, according to preliminary data.