On January 31, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) published permanent rules relating to COVID-19 vaccination and masking requirements in healthcare settings, just a few days after issuing similar rules for K-12 schools. The permanent rules replaced temporary rules that expire after 180 days.
The permanent rules for both healthcare and K-12 settings will “remain in effect unless the State Public Health Director or State Public Health Officer issues an order stating that the requirements . . . are no longer necessary to control COVID-19.” Under both rules, the factors that may lead to a loosening of restrictions or rescission of the permanent rules include the following:
- “The degree of COVID-19 transmission”
- “COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths”
- “Disparate COVID-19 related health impacts on communities of color and tribal communities”
- “Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”
- “Proportion of the population partially or fully vaccinated”
The statewide temporary indoor mask mandate is set to expire on February 8, 2022. OHA is still reviewing public comments on a proposed permanent indoor mask mandate and expects to publish a permanent rule in the coming weeks. Healthcare and K-12 employers may want to revisit their COVID-19 policies and workplace practices to consider whether they are complying with these permanent rules.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.