Wearing Masks in Public is Recommended May 21, 2020

Coos County has been approved by the State of Oregon to enter Phase 1 of the plan to ease restrictions that were put into effect to control the spread of COVID-19 and begin Reopening Oregon. Starting May 15, Coos Bay was approved to allow the limited reopening of restaurants and bars, personal services, gyms, and malls. Additionally, gatherings of up to 25 people are now allowed for recreational, social, cultural, civic, or faith events. All of these approved activities require maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet between persons.

With the Phase 1 relaxation of requirements outlined in the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders, it may be more important than ever for people to wear a face-covering or mask when in public. While there have been some mixed opinions surrounding the use of a face mask, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) does believe that wearing a mask is beneficial in reducing the spread of COVID–19. Wearing a mask while in public is not required, but it is strongly recommended.

In an effort to fight the spread of the virus, the Zonta International Club of Coos Bay made a generous donation to the City of Coos Bay for the purchase and distribution of isolation masks for the community. City staff was able to purchase masks through Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board (SOWIB). These masks are now available, free to the public, at the entrance of local grocery stores, including Safeway, Walmart and McKay’s Market in Empire and Coos Bay.

Coos Health and Wellness (CHW) has also started a program to encourage the public to wear a face mask. This program is both a donation and distribution program. People who would like to make and donate reusable cloth face masks can find sewing instructions on the internet. Mask donations may be placed in the identified container at each City Hall buildings within Coos County. Anyone in need of a mask can pick one up from the same donation bucket. For more information on this CHW cloth mask program, contact Pam Lewis at