COVID-19 regulations likely in place until end of pandemic, OSHA says

This means mask mandates and social distancing will be in effect for at least the foreseeable future.

Posted: Apr 18, 2021 6:42 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2021 7:05 PM

EUGENE, Ore.--According to Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials, the agency is considering extending COVID-19 regulations indefinitely.

This means mask mandates and social distancing will be in effect for at least the foreseeable future.

Aaron Corvin, an OSHA spokesperson said the indefinite option is the only option on hand because of Oregon laws. 

"We are not allowed to extend a temporary rule beyond 180 days. That's concrete, that's in state law, and we're following that," Corvin said. 

Although there is no concrete end time set, the proposal says: "It is expected that this rule will be appealed once it is no longer necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic."

When this proposal was announced, there was backlash from the Oregon community.

In fact, nearly 60,000 people signed a petition against the rule change, and about 5,000 people commented during the public comment period. OSHA said their previous comment record was around 1,100.

Some people believe this rule change is necessary to end the pandemic. 

"That's really the secret to getting people back to work and normalcy, the new normal. So yeah I do feel good about [the proposal]," Kevin Mcgehee said.

While others think making a rule without an exact timeline is irresponsible.

"I don't like that idea. I think that we don't know what's going to change with [the pandemic] so having a permanent rule in place is not really a good idea," Michael Kurcsics said.

An official decision will be made on the proposal prior to the May 4th deadline.

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