According to the New York Post:

Oregon county issues face mask order that exempts non-white people

Lincoln County, Oregon, has exempted non-white people from a new order requiring that face coverings be worn in public

Oregon county issues face mask order that exempts nonwhite people

Does Oregon county actually have race-specific health orders?

  • 10
    The NY Post isn't a reliable source. mediabiasfactcheck.com/new-york-post Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 15:51
  • 19
    @computercarguy "mixed" is not too bad for the state of today's media. Their own definition says "These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation." Search some common names and you'll see what I mean.
    – user11643
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 16:01
  • 20
    Also, as good as mediabiasfactcheck.com is, there are hard limitations. The most obvious would be "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" as you suggest here with the NYP. Further problems are gross generalizations for very large outfits like CNN or Fox, that have many text and television divisions. Many sources are also time limited in their analysis. A recent bout of inaccuracy won't affect the ratings. Final issues are wrapped up in confirmation bias. People like to not talk about mediabiasfactcheck.com when it's pointing out flaws in their particular preferences.
    – user11643
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    @fredsbend I don't think we should give a source as "pass" on unreliable news, just because "everyone else is doing it". We should hold news to a higher, not lower standard. And there are definitely sources at a higher standard. adfontesmedia.com/interactive-media-bias-chart Also, even with Fox being split into the News and Opinion sections, both are considered unreliable sources due to supporting conspiracy theories, as well as far-right. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 16:26
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    @computercarguy I didn't say we should give a source a pass. I corrected your mischaracterization of NYP as "isn't a reliable source" and your misuse of mediabiasfactcheck.com as a "reliability measurement tool".
    – user11643
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


Lincoln county has published this statement:

In this Directive there were several exceptions identified recognizing that not everyone could or should wear a face covering: ...

People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.

So yes, they most certainly did.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 7:23

No, there is currently no such requirement or exception to that requirement. For one week the health guidelines related to masks in Lincoln County, OR included an exception for people of color who were concerned about racial profiling/harassment for wearing a mask. That exception was removed in an update to the directive, and there are currently no exceptions related to race. Further, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners issued a statement regarding this exception, and how they were revising the guidelines due the response they received.

However, in both versions of the health directive masks were not 'required' as the New York Post article claims, as the health directive explicitly states that law enforcement cannot do anything to enforce the directive.

Directive 6-16-2020 has the health guidelines issued on June 16, 2020, which is the order referenced in the New York Post article, and the relevant text is at the end of page 2/start of page 3:

...all individuals in Lincoln County shall wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when they will be at (1) indoor public settings or (2) outdoor public locations and cannot maintain distancing of approximately six feet from another individual who does not share their household.


The following individuals do not need to comply with this Directive:

  • Persons with health/medical conditions that preclude or are exacerbated by wearing a face covering.
  • Children under the age of 12. Children over the age of 2 but under the age of 12 are encouraged to wear face coverings but not required to do so.
  • Persons with disabilities that prevents them from using the face coverings as described in this Directive. These persons must be reasonably accommodated to all them access to goods and services.
  • People of color who have heightened concerns about racial profiling and harassment due to wearing face coverings in public.

This directive was updated on June 23, the day the New York Post article was published. The updated text can be found here along with some minor changes to recommended mask practices, the above exception for people of color was removed, and no comparable exception took its place.

Regardless, nobody is required to wear masks, as not wearing a mask is not grounds for law enforcement to get involved. The relevant text for this can be found on page 3 of both versions of the directive:

Violation of the Directive does not constitute or create grounds for private persons or public employees, including law enforcement, to stop, detain, issue a citation or undertake any other enforcement action under Lincoln County Code Chapter 10 against a person or persons who does not comply.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 7:23
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    This response is so antithetical to skepticism. That the order was later changed does not invalidate the claim at the time it was made. The order carved out an exception based on racial characteristics. The idea that law enforcement is not involved despite all the language of the order making it mandatory means that it is not required is equivalent to claiming "it's only illegal if I get caught." That your other answers show you are not as strict with your analysis of such technical details infers a significant level of bias in this answer. -1
    – user53816
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 19:12
  • I think the idea was that a black person risked arrest if they wore a mask.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 16:46

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