On Monday, the Benton County Board of Commissioners, acting in their capacity as the Board of Health, issued Order #D2021-079 amending Order #D2021-063. Effective November 30, masks or face coverings are no longer required to be worn in outdoor public settings, even when social distancing is not possible, aligning with the recent statewide update from Governor Brown’s office.

“We want to thank Benton County residents for their vigilance in following COVID-19 precautions. Your hard work has allowed us to ease some restrictions,” Benton County Board Chair Xan Augerot said today. “Although the situation is improving, we can’t fully relax yet. For that reason, wearing a mask is strongly recommended in crowded outdoor settings and still required in all public indoor settings. By continuing to take precautions as a whole, our community can make forward progress out of this pandemic.”

While face coverings are an important prevention method, alone they aren’t enough to protect us from COVID-19. Layering prevention methods such as frequent hand washing and getting a COVID-19 vaccine are important measures to prevent the spread of illness. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and provide the best protection against the Delta variant, most importantly against severe outcomes including hospitalization and death. For a list of COVID-19 vaccine opportunities in Benton County visit: https://bit.ly/BentonCoHealthDept-FindAVaccine.