SALEM, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown is expected to announce new COVID-19 requirements at a press conference on Wednesday.
State officials say state employees will be required to be vaccinated, and there will be statewide indoor mask requirements. The specifics of those requirements are not yet known.
The changes come amid the spike in hospitalizations caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
“Oregon is facing a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations––consisting overwhelmingly of unvaccinated individuals––that is quickly exceeding the darkest days of our winter surge,” said Brown.
If no intervention is taken, the latest modeling indicates COVID-19 hospitalizations will far exceed the state’s capacity in the next several weeks, state officials say. When hospitals are at capacity, it has a big impact on people suffering from other causes such as heart attacks, strokes, car crashes and more.
State employees in the executive branch will be required to be fully vaccinated on or before Oct. 18 or six weeks after a vaccine receives full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whichever is later.
SEIU 503, a union for public services workers and care providers in Oregon, issued the following statement: “It is our analysis that once FDA approval is final, employers have the legal right to mandate vaccines. However, the State can not simply declare a vaccine mandate and walk away. They must listen to essential workers and address our concerns with how this policy is implemented.”
Stay with KEZI 9 News for the latest on the upcoming mask requirements.