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In-home caregivers don’t face vaccination mandate; Central Oregon firms may see more applicants

(Update: Adding video, comments from at-home care businesses)

'Vaccination is a personal choice, and we encourage our caregivers to get vaccinated'

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- Under an Oregon Health Authority exemption, workers for in-home care providers do not have to get vaccinated, and that could help ease the hiring squeeze for those Central Oregon companies trying to meet a growing demand for their services.

Specifically, the OHA has not extended its vaccination mandate to a person’s private home, if the home is not otherwise licensed, registered or certified as a facility or home as listed in the rule.

With the health care industry desperate to fill many positions and find more applicants, that rule could impact their staffing challenges.

Patricia Lucas, administrator for Interim HealthCare of Central Oregon, said her family opened an office in 2020.

"We have a lot of wonderful caregivers and clients, but we probably turn away three times more work than we already have, because there's so much need for home care in Central Oregon," Lucas said Tuesday.

Lucas said unlike traditional jobs, they hire as they take on clients. As of now, Lucas said they have about 40 clients.

Karen Clark, director of Visiting Angels, said at this point, they'll take as many caregivers as they can get.

"So we are hiring caregivers that are unvaccinated," she said, though she added, "We are strongly encouraging the vaccine for all of our caregivers."

Both Lucas and Clark said their hiring process does not hinge on whether someone is vaccinated or not. Rather, it's based on someone who is competent and demonstrates love and compassion.

"Vaccination is a personal choice, and we encourage our caregivers to get vaccinated. Most of them are," Lucas said. "So we ask them when we interview them, but that's up to them whether or not they're vaccinated."

Clark said, "We have strict protocols in place for our caregivers, including Covid education, PPE, masks, gloves, whatever they need. So we keep our caregivers as safe as possible, as well as our clients."

If clients ask if their caregiver is vaccinated, Lucas said they tell them. Clark said clients can always request vaccinated caregivers.

"Also, any of our clients in communities, in assisted living, independent, memory care, we will only send vaccinated caregivers to those communities," Clark said.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

Comments

23 Comments

  1. This just stupid! Why am I being forced to get unproven vaccine shot or lose my job which I’m not a health care provider. Yet, people who take care of vulnerable people have the right to chose to get a shot or not. Stop these mandates. Let the people decide what goes in their own bodies not government.

    1. Biden is also physically ill. He couldn’t refrain from coughing his head off during his last public appearance. I believe that he is not long for this world. Soon he will meet the devil himself.

      1. If I were to block all the personal attacks on current or former presidents, governors or elected officials there’d be far fewer comments allowed. But yes, personal attacks on each other in the comment system is a totally different judgment call re: TOS. Stick to the issues, say “you’re wrong and here’s why,” cool. “You’re an idiot”? No. Some folks are more clever/subtle in their criticism, so again, it’s a judgment call.

  2. Crazy. My Dad had help at home for years but there’s no way given Covid I would have agreed to an unvaccinated provider. Suspect the industry will find that’s a pretty common deal breaker for vulnerable seniors.

    1. You do realize that a vaccinated provider can transmit the virus as well do you not? Your dad could have just as easily contracted the virus from a vaccinated individual. The jab does NOT provide immunity. You do know that, RIGHT!?! Or do you not read articles put out by the CDC or the FDA? There is a high number of so called vaccinated people in the hospitals with covid. Don’t be a foolish sheep and believe otherwise. The majority of hospitalized people in Israel and Iceland are fully jabbed. Theses two countries are two of the most jabbed countries in the world. You are not as protected as claimed.

  3. Awesome! So my cancer ridden mother at home can get COVID from her at home care nurse and not even have to visit a hospital. that’s fantastic!!

    thanks, dems, for your assinine rules!!!

    1. So you’d rather people in the hospital be exposed to these unvaccinated staff? Interesting. ALL should be vaccinated, or find a job where they aren’t exposing vulnerable patients, period. The dems and the dem mandates are not responsible for Home health Nurse Ratched not getting her vaccine and moving to home health because that’s the only place she can go and be her anti-science, anti-vax self.

  4. I hope this changes. I wouldn’t let a unvaccinated care giver take care of my family member. People are dying, do your part. Get vaccinated. No one is tracking you, why would anyone care what you’re doing. It’s how America stopped lots of different diseases. Just care about someone besides yourself. Be kind.

  5. Whoa, not so fast! Better check the new place first before quitting your current job. Just because there isn’t a Federal mandate doesn’t mean the company can’t say you have to.
    It’s crazy to me that people would actually give up a career before getting a vaccination. Especially in the healthcare field.

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