Masks off: State ending Covid-related mandate on March 12

Due to the declining Covid hospitalizations along the west coast, the state health officials are lifting mask requirements in indoor public spaces and schools on March 12, shifting masking decisions to the local level, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday. 

Oregon hospitalization rates during the Omicron surge are a third lower than the national average, according to OHSU Health Sciences. At its present pace, hospitalizations could fall below pre-Omicron levels locally by next week.

Just a month ago, the state reported 1,125 Covid hospitalizations. “Our expectations at that time were dire . . .