Oregon County Imposes Race-based Face Mask Ordinance

Lincoln County makes mask exception for 'people of color'

Image Credits: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images.

A coastal county in Oregon expects everyone to wear masks – that is, everyone except “people of color” who claim to have racial profiling concerns.

Lincoln County’s directive, which went into effect June 16, appears similar to other mask orders across the country, stating:

General directive: All individuals in Lincoln County are required to wear face coverings during any indoor public setting or outdoor public location where a person will be in within six feet of another individual, who does not share the same household.

Where Lincoln County breaks from other places is it’s made an exception from the mask order for “people of color.”

“The following individuals do not need to comply with this Directive,” the order issued by Lincoln County’s Public Health Administrator states, before going on to exempt “People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.”

The county did not offer an explanation, or go into detail about what kind of “racial profiling,” or “harassment” a person of color might experience due to a face mask.

It’s also unclear why “people of color” would be excluded from mask ordinances when CDC data supposedly shows minorities are being disproportionately infected with COVID-19.


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