People of color are exempt from the Oregon County Mandatory Mask Order

An Oregon county has decided to exempt people of color from its mandatory mask policy, citing the potential for racial profiling. The decision comes as several counties in Oregon have increased facial coverage requirements to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Lincoln County’s general directive requires everyone to wear a face mask in any indoor public setting or in any outdoor setting where six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. But the county wrote on its website that “people of color who have raised concerns about racial profiling and bullying due to wearing face covers in public” are exempt from the rule.

Other exemptions include children under the age of 12 and people with particular medical conditions or disabilities.

The directive indicates that it is “self-executing” and that no one should “intimidate or harass” those who do not comply.

In Multnomah County to the north, there is no exception for people of color, but the county points to the possibility of racial profiling, according to CBS affiliate KOIN.

“Violence and discrimination are a daily experience for people who are black, indigenous and colored,” the county said on its website, according to KOIN. “Racism and racist reactions to blacks, indigenous people, and people of color who wear face covers are a reality. And yet we know that face covers can help people stay healthy and save lives. Multnomah does not tolerate discrimination or violence towards people due to their race, ethnicity, or identity. “

According to census data, Lincoln County is more than 80% white.

Facial covers will be required when visiting businesses in seven Oregon counties beginning Wednesday. There are more than 7,400 virus cases in the state and 195 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the state health department.