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Oregon agency inadvertently releases 40,000 state employees’ vaccine status

MGN

Two newspapers had requested vaccination, exemption rates

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to two media outlets.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a spreadsheet sent to them and the Statesman Journal was supposed to contain the latest vaccination rates and vaccine exemption rates for each executive branch agency overseen by Gov. Kate Brown.

Brown issued an executive order in August requiring all executive branch employees — along with individuals working in educational and health care settings — to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Monday at midnight.

Instead, Oregon Department of Administrative Services External Relations Director Adam Crawford emailed a file to the outlets Monday containing vaccination status by employee name.

Crawford took the blame for the data release and asked that the personal information not be reported. “It’s a mistake on my part,” he said.

Ben Morris, a spokesperson for SEIU 503, said the release of information violates an agreement the union signed with the state which required individuals’ vaccination information to be confidential.

Morris said that “more concerning is that one of the main things that we heard from members who were vaccine hesitant is they were concerned about their privacy in this situation.”

Morris said the union is deciding how to respond.

The newspapers said they will not publish the full dataset.

According to the data, more than 90% of eligible employees in the state’s executive branch are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received an approved religious or medical exception.

Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan sent a letter to DAS Director Katy Coba Tuesday on the "significant breach of confidentiality," asking among other things "what specific changes does your department plan to implement to ensure this never happens again?"

The Oregon State Police Officers Association said it had been trying to negotiate with the state over the mandate and had expressed concern about the disclosure of personal medical and religious information.

"Apparently, the State felt it was appropriate to allow the DAS public relations director access to sensitive personnel information," OSPOA President Joshua Wetzel said in a news release.

"One wonders who else has access," he said. "The data breach is one more example of the state’s failure to take into consideration the concerns of its employees."

Wetzel said the association has asked the state to disclose what info was released and to whom. "The Association has filed the appropriate grievance under the contract with the State and are exploring other legal remedies," he added.


News release from Oregon Senate Republicans:

Kate Brown’s Failures Continue with Leak of Thousands of Workers’ Medical Information

SALEM, Ore. – On Monday night, Kate Brown’s Department of Administrative Services sent detailed vaccination statuses of tens of thousands of state workers to reporters.

The Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) released the following statement:

“I have been opposed to this overreach since the day Kate Brown announced it. Government should never coerce people into having medical procedures let alone keep track of this information. It proves to Oregonians they should not trust the government with their private health information or with this much power over their day-to-day lives.

“The impacts of Kate Brown’s overreaches are proving to be severe. Staffing shortages across the state in essential services, like police, teachers, and hospital staff are going to have enduring negative consequences on the safety of Oregonians. Now, citizens must worry if their private medical history will become public. This kind of breach of trust will further erode the public’s faith in government.

“The failures under Kate Brown’s leadership continue to stack up. Oregonians deserve better.”

The Associated Press

KTVZ news sources

Comments

22 Comments

  1. This whole story is pathetic. Inadvertently my butt. Its nobody’s business who is or isn’t vaccinated! Stop voting Democrat and save the country!!!!

  2. Very well stated in the article. This data should have never been collected in the first place for this very reason. Now it has been sent to media outlets. Then some wonder why people don’t trust the government. A spectacular fail.

  3. Gee- you mean it’s not only me ??? “The impacts of Kate Brown’s overreaches are proving to be severe. Staffing shortages across the state in essential services, like police, teachers, and hospital staff are going to have enduring negative consequences on the safety of Oregonians.”… Blue bloods in this state are a special kind of Dumb !

  4. The Salem Statesman Journal agreed to delete the entire file it was sent! The Oregonian will not agree to do the same! This info was conveyed to union members today. Once again, we see how the media lacks transparency at best, but most likely is just following the orders of their Democratic paymasters!

    Thanks for betraying us Brown! Again! The Unions will not forget this! Betsey Johnson for Governor!

  5. A simple question: why does Mr. Crawford still have a job with the state? Inadvertent or not, it is such a breech of personal medical information and violation of numerous state regulations that he should have had State Police escorting him and his box of personal items out the front door of the DAS building by 5pm today. Obviously, different set of rules for Capital insiders and the rest of state employees.

    1. The mistake was the collection of that information in the first place and that was intentional without any question. The release may have been an honest mistake, but the information should have never been in a database in the first place to avoid just such an issue.

  6. I am one of the 40k affected. I really don’t care. I think it is narsistic to think The Big Bad Government, or anyone else for that matter, really gives you or me much thought. Seems like more politicized rhetoric which to me is unpatriotic. Adam Crawford made a mistake, you ever make one? The papers aren’t even publishing personal data, which is the decent thing to do. That’s right, The Fake News did the right thing… There is decency left, why don’t you focus on the positive…verse spewing more negative vitriolic narratives commonplace on the internet and social media. I view this divisive, negative rhetoric unpatriotic at best, your neighbors not that bad.

    1. People can be trusted. You can trust me. Please provide your state ID number and address so that I can verify that you are indeed one of those affected.

      1. All State employees’ name, job title, and wage is public information and can be requested. Our information is requested, and given out legally multiple times a year. Fact, real news.

        Does the internet offer anything more than snarky, low IQ, unpatriotic vomit?

  7. …and not there vaccines records. You so smart!

    Like I said, who cares. People just want to be mad at everything, so be mad… Enjoy!

  8. Still no public release of the data… Looks like your negative, spiteful world view didn’t materialize, again. Like I said, I’m a state worker affected, and I don’t care… Why do you?

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