A county in Oregon has issued an order requiring face masks to be worn in public but has exempted nonwhite people over fears of racism.
Health officials in Lincoln County, Oregon, which is inhabited by roughly 50,000 people, issued the order for any situation in which individuals might come within 6 feet of another person, but “heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment” mean that nonwhite people aren’t required to abide by the rule, according to the New York Post.
The decision to exempt nonwhite people from wearing masks comes as some have attempted to make the case that minorities are in danger when required to wear masks.
“For many black people, deciding whether or not to wear a bandana in public to protect themselves and others from contracting coronavirus is a lose-lose situation that can result in life-threatening consequences either way,” American Civil Liberties Union Racial Justice Program Director ReNika Moore said to CNN in April.
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