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Gov. Brown: Oregon health care workers must get COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing

(Update: Adding governor's video statement)

Hospitals, nurses groups applaud move


SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she has directed the Oregon Health Authority to issue a rule outlining new, required health and safety measures for personnel in health care settings. The rule requires weekly COVID-19 testing for personnel in health care settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in those settings, which can be waived with a proof of vaccination.

The new rule will be issued this week and the requirement to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing will apply starting Sept. 30. This will give employers time to prepare for implementation, and will give currently unvaccinated health care workers time to become fully vaccinated.

“The more contagious delta variant has changed everything," Brown said. "This new safety measure is necessary to stop delta from causing severe illness among our first line of defense: our doctors, nurses, medical students, and frontline health care workers.

"Protecting our frontline health care workers through vaccination will also enhance the safety of the patients in their care,” the governor added. “Severe illness from COVID-19 is now largely preventable, and vaccination is clearly our best defense. Vaccination and weekly testing ensure Oregonians can safely access health care and employees can go to work in an environment that maximizes health and safety measures for COVID-19.”

The new rule applies broadly to personnel in health care settings who have direct or indirect contact with patients or infectious materials.

The governor’s office said it continues to look at additional health and safety options to protect Oregonians against the highly contagious Delta variant, including vaccination and testing policies for state workers, with conversations continuing with stakeholders about how similar protective measures can be implemented in various state workplaces.

Governor Brown called on other public and private employers in Oregon to implement measures to facilitate their employees’ access to vaccines.

“As we have throughout this pandemic, we are learning to adapt to the new reality the delta variant has created," she said. "I am encouraging Oregon cities, counties, businesses, and employers to think creatively, and to implement measures such as paid time off for vaccination, and incentives for employees, in addition to instituting masking requirements and other health and safety measures in the workplace. I am doing the same with the State of Oregon’s workforce, and I expect employers to find ways to remove barriers to easy access to vaccination.”

Although employment-related vaccination requirements are generally allowed under state and federal law, state law currently prohibits employers from independently mandating vaccines for certain limited categories of workers, including health care workers. The governor said she intends to work  with stakeholders and legislators to address this issue in the February 2022 session. 


Hospitals Applaud Governor's Action to Protect Oregon Patients
Oregon Assn. of Hosp. and Health Systems (OAHHS) - 08/04/21 2:03 PM

Increasing health care worker vaccination rates protects patients, visitors, and communities

 Lake Oswego, Ore. – August 4, 2021 – Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, released the following statement regarding the Governor’s newly released rule on vaccination and testing requirements for health care workers in Oregon.

 “Throughout the pandemic, Oregon’s hospitals have been committed to safeguarding the health of our patients, visitors and workers. We support today’s action by Governor Brown, which will require health care workers in Oregon to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested regularly for the virus. With these additional tools we can better respond to this evolving pandemic and provide the safest possible environment for those who depend on us.”

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About OAHHS: Founded in 1934, OAHHS is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health and to continue improving Oregon’s innovative health care delivery system.


Oregon Nurses Applaud Governor Brown's New Health and Safety Rule for Workers in Health Care Settings
Oregon Nurses Assn. - 08/04/21 2:11 PM

(Portland, Ore.) - The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) applauds Governor Kate Brown’s announcement today regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and health care workers. This is a reasonable and sensible approach which respects the individual choices of health care workers while also protecting public health. ONA believes COVID-19 vaccinations are critical to protecting our members, our patients, our families and our communities and we urge all Oregonians who can get vaccinated to do so today. ONA is also gratified to note Oregon’s current law provides the state the flexibility necessary to respond to public health emergencies via regulation. 

Oregonians and Oregon’s nurses have sacrificed too much and come too far to suffer another wave of COVID-19. ONA is eager to continue our work with hospitals and community groups to encourage vaccinations through a wide range of options, including free vaccine clinics, vaccine education, vaccination incentives, and community outreach to improve vaccination rates and address the rampant disinformation that is creating uncertainty and fueling vaccine hesitancy. Vaccination is a critical tool to keep Oregonians healthy and safe. Governor Brown’s announcement will help close the gap in vaccination rates for Oregon’s essential health care workers. 

ONA calls upon health care corporations to also commit to support the Governor’s efforts by implementing a range of policies to increase the effectiveness of this new rule.

First, it is crucial to remember COVID-19 testing for nurses and health care workers was extremely limited in the early days of the pandemic. Now, hospitals and health care corporations must take all steps to ensure testing for nurses and health care workers who need it is free, available at the workplace whenever possible, and responsive.

Second, all employers must guarantee paid time off for workers who experience adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccinations. We know some individuals experience side effects from the vaccine and ensuring paid time off for staff who are too ill to work will help increase vaccinations for those who are hesitant.

Finally, employers with union-represented staff must recognize and honor a union’s right to bargain over changes to working conditions in represented facilities. ONA will work with our union members in facilities across the state to ensure employers respect our legally binding contracts.

ONA is also redoubling our own efforts to close the gap on nurse vaccination rates in Oregon. It is important to note that registered nurses and nurse practitioners across the state have achieved a high rate of vaccination, nearly 80%, and should be applauded for doing so.

In the coming weeks, ONA will begin a statewide public information campaign, targeted at nurses and health care workers in Oregon counties identified by the CDC as having high transmission rates, to help address concerns, questions, and hesitancy among health care workers who have not yet been vaccinated. This campaign will include nurse-to-nurse and nurse-to-community outreach via phone calls, text messages and social media, along with more traditional public relations initiatives.

ONA has also recently awarded two major grants to nonprofits who are focused on increasing vaccination rates among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We will continue to focus on increasing vaccination rates among our members and the broader community in any way we can.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is Oregon's largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. Our mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

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Comments

85 Comments

  1. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Do they have to wait for the test results until they go to work? If they are positive then the damage is already done. What happens if they get covid the day AFTER the test?

    Throwing darts is all this is

      1. Outside, you are correct. This is not about science. A quick question I also have will the hospitals then be held liable if there is a medical issue caused by the forced vaxx?

    1. @Jabronie My thoughts exactly. This is beyond worthless. In that week they have already caused an outbreak. And at a health facility on top of that. Of all the places a vaccine should absolutely be mandatory it should be a healthcare facility.

      1. Blue…please cite hospital staff to patient or patient to staff transmission. Not nursing homes. Hospitals. Are the non vaxxed nurses that’ve been caring for our community from day 1 still heroes to you?

      2. That’s actually the absolute last place it should be mandatory. Have you seen the PPE they are using in hospitals now for all staff? If the virus can get through that everyone will get it eventually anyways.

      1. They are walking away because they are sick and tired of helping people that can’t bother to help themselves – be it smoking, obesity, or anti-vax idiocy. Yeah, tired of helping folks that won’t help themselves.

        1. Bakatya, actually they are tired of being overworked, short staffed, and instead of helping patients being required to capture charges. Government dictating staff’s healthcare will be a tipping point.

    1. The nany state from the govinotar is obysmal! Enuf all ready. We need entillegint polacys from smart conservatives and toss out these liberal socail communnists!

      When will Oregans learn?? Get smart and vote in people who will allow us to be free from these communest polacys!!!

      1. I’d go back to middle school if I were you. The words that are spelled RIGHT in your post are vastly outnumbered by the words you completely BUTCHERED. Damn.

  2. There it is. Even though you need to be extremely ill to get admitted to the hospital I suggest trying to now as this will create a state wide health care crisis as critically short staffed hospitals deal with staff walking from healthcare over demanding they get a non fda approved medication. Which goes against all science these healthcare workers were taught in school. I did not see on report cited of patient-staff cited in this article. These are the same people who were called heroes on the frontline, now rested as trash. Good luck with a total hip replacement, back surgery, or any elective procedure. This is what abuse of power looks like.

  3. Too bad we do not have someone smart as a governor that can make policy decisions/orders based on actual data. There is such a huge problem with healthcare workers getting or spreading the virus, right? Right? No …no that’s just not true. This essentially does nothing other than exasperate the problem of healthcare worker shortages while doing little to nothing to prevent infection in health care settings, just to make yourself feel better like you did something. You thought St. Charles was bad now?!?

    1. You Jxblasr are correct. There was zero staff/patient or patient /staff transmission cited for this decision. ONA is just a mouthpiece for the PDX democrats. As I mentioned before, if you need healthcare, demand you get it now because it will be impossible to get any elective procedure. In fact, if you go to the hospital now, expect to sit in the emergency room waiting for a room to open up.

    1. Here’s the problem- if you pay attention- the hoax continues to unravel ! “COVID-19 testing for nurses and health care workers was extremely limited in the early days of the pandemic.” Whaaaat ??? We were told that the reason we had so many tests was because of medical professionals being tested so often… a lie then- a lie now ! Healthcare workers should have been the first ones to be forced to take the experimental drugs- but by looking at their levels of resistance- it appears many would have gone on Brown’s Guvment Cheese for a few months ! Kate Brown and Lyin’ Joey Biden have mucked this up beyond incompetent- it’s criminal !

        1. PCR….they can find anything they want in a test if they look for it. Delta variance, there is NO test to diagnose individuals. Science is being crapped on and people are taking it hook, line, and sinker.

      1. Barney, that link you provided is not really what he was talking about. It’s about the number of cycles that is being used in the test causing false positives.

    1. Nope, the government apparently knows better. The democrats have done a great job so far. Government dictates your healthcare (even with meds that aren’t fully tested for safety, Barney I know you will say they are but tell me if there will be any issues months/years down the road with the new mrna, you can’t it has not been tested), can’t evict renters who don’t pay, inflation, lockdowns, and dependance on government handouts. Not good folks.

      1. Let’s assume that just 5 percent of the 25 percent decide to move on. That is going to create big problems for St. Charles and other medical clinics.I have been doing my profession for 20 years and carry multiple state licenses. Of course, everyone is replaceable but experience can be difficult to replace.

  4. I love how Queen Kate/Democrats are forcing tax paying Americans to get the vaccine, yet our border is being overwhelmed with non-vaccinated “immigrants” that are shipped to other cities without any health concerns for We The People.

  5. I get the whole health care works need to be vaccinated thing and most will likely comply. Pre COVID workers were required to get the flu shot or they had to wear a mask. What bothers me is our governor is stepping outside of her jurisdiction to assert power over others. This really falls more under osha than Kate.

  6. What a frikn joke. If someone has so much faith in the vaccine or mask them let them do their job. Don’t worry about anyone but yourself. But since all you so called believers know they really don’t work why bother with either one.
    So comical. A few days ago the president of this great nation made it mandatory that anyone employed by the federal government be vaccinated. Of course the requirement couldn’t affect postal employees because they are at least smart enough to realize that if it was required half would quit and there would be no more mail or Amazon deliveries (in areas where USPS delivers Amazon). None of it has anything to do with COVID. Forget the mask and vaccine. PS: wonder where her mask is in the video above.

  7. Why won’t they test for the anti bodies and t-cells. Why should people that have the t-cells and anti-bodies be required to be vaccinated. If the vaccinated are able to transmit the virus why are they not required to be tested as well? I am ok with being tested weekly as long as it’s a saliva test but I can assure you that they will not be sticking swab up my nose weekly.
    I have seen this coming and I am prepared. I hope my employer is also prepared since we have a shortage of healthcare workers in this area as it is. Also be prepared for healthcare cost to increase.

    1. MPH…. Excellent points. Natural antibodies have proven protection. Why aren’t the vaccinated not tested!!! This is the best argument I’ve seen, the faux science astounds me.

      1. The vaccinated are not tested because they are conceding the point- relying on contact tracing to identify the source… which only takes on person to lie- and it’s a house of cards in need of a new shuffle !

    2. You may test negative for antibodies but still have T cells that recugnize covid. For that matter, if you had H1N1 then you have T cells that recognize the wuhan flu. Covid is 80% similar to H1N1.

  8. My predictions are coming true. I called it covid 21, they call it delta (to impose more restrictions). I said healthcare workers will be forced to get the non fda approved med. Now I predict a healthcare crisis due to critical low staff for hospitals and all healthcare settings delaying care for those that need it.

    Not sure if you are ready for the BIG prediction. Non vaxxed encampments. Are you waking up yet?

      1. Yup- just read it… reminds me of that guy way back in February and March of 2020 who boldly stated that if anyone had a loved one in a nursing home- to get them out. Long Term Health Care facilities should have been the first to introduce the concepts of shielding- where staff live on sight for a month long rotation- deliveries are sanitized- guests limited to zero ! Instead- Kate Brown decided to shut down schools. Her actions have been criminal- and I said it early on- no hindsight needed… She must be resign from office !

  9. Wow, these comments are scary. That actual Americans can believe the BS they are throwing out here is sad, the education system definitely let almost every poster down.
    1. Covid is real, no matter what Fox, OANN and others say.
    2. The vaccines are safe, thousands have NOT died because of the vaccines.
    4. Trump lost the election and there was no widespread voter fraud. Period.
    5. Trump was, and still is, trying to overthrow the United States government. He is a traitor who broke his oath of office.
    6. No Republican can say they back there blue, Trumpers are mocking the officers, and many GOP legislators say January 6th was a tourist day and a love fest. It was not.

    Wise up, before we end up with a crazy dictator.

    1. 1. covid is real. You are right, but healthy people have a 99% chance of no issue. Real stats not fox. Tell us what percentage of Deschutes County population ever tested positive for covid and the percentage of deaths.
      2. The vaccines are not fda approved and you or anyone can tell me in 6 month or 2 years if there will be delayed issues.
      3. You can’t count
      4. Yeah sure biden got more votes than any other president in the history of the US…..????
      5.Democrats unconstitutionally changed hundreds of state voting laws across the country due to covid.
      6.Democrats encouraged countrywide riots and called them peaceful protests. Wouldn’t burning the federal courthouse in portland be considered a insurrection? I agree I am not happy with Jan 6, but I think there is more to the story than CNN reports.

    2. We have now he just went on live tv and said he is going to break his oath of office and go against the supreme court’s ruling which by the way is against our constitution if you still believe in that but I doubt it since you’re obviously a loud mouthed liberal democrat that has no idea what he or she is talking about. And yes I’m talking about you’re elected disfunctional president obiden who says he is gonna trump the CDC’S ruling that was the mandate on rent and got shot down from the supreme court he is gonna executive order it into law. What an idiot can’t wait to see how fast he gets to go through the impeachment trials. But don’t worry you democrats pelosi says it was a morally right decision. Like she isn’t gonna vote to impeach him as soon as possible so she is one step closer to that oval office. You people are seriously stupid

    3. But a coup and crazy dictator are what they want. Proof is all the money Trump has in his PAC account. And where that money is spent doesn’t need to be reported. Legal grift.

    4. #2- Hundreds of thousands have not died “because of” the Wuhan Lab Bat virus- these people died of their underlying conditions- that in accordance with the CDC- the OHA- and KTVZ… What source do you have that says the vaccine is not related to killing anyone ? And what respectable medical/scientific source can you quote that says these vaccines have no long term risks ??? The FDA certainly doesn’t say so !

  10. New York times ohhhh myyyyy gooooddddd you actually posted that childlovesfather you do realize the new York times is the same thing as the national inquirer right? I knew you where stupid but ohhhh myyyyy gooooddddd.

  11. Why are the vaccinated not going to tested since we now know that the virus can be transmitted from people who have received the Wuhan China virus vaccine? Here is a the link from the lefts favorite news source NPR on how the CDC states that the vaccinated can transmit the virus….. WHY ARE THE VACCINATED NOT REQUIRED TO BE TESTED ALSO?
    https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/30/1022867219/cdc-study-provincetown-delta-vaccinated-breakthrough-mask-guidance

  12. I wonder how many more hoops Kate will have her peons jumping through before this is over? I will bet she is sitting there watching all her little minions dancing to her tune and just cackling her butt off. Think she will suspend the next election because of covid? But hey, No worries, Creepy Sleepy China Joe Obiden will fix everything, just ask Hunter and the ATF!!!!

  13. The success of Oregon’s 70+% vaccination rates makes it possible for the idiot anti-vaxers here. If they were in Mississippi, Florida, Texas or other state where there are no ICU beds available, their false bravado would disappear in a heart-beat. So thank you Kate Brown, for letting idiots be idiots.

    1. Border states with mass numbers of untested- un-vaccinated migrants and illegals who are distorting the numbers. Even in Oregon- Kate Brown’s Hispanic community is called out for having higher than average Wuhan bat Virus illnesses.

  14. Why are the vaccinated not going to tested since we now know that the virus can be transmitted from people who have received the CCP virus vaccine? Here is a the link from the lefts favorite news source NPR on how the CDC states that the vaccinated can transmit the virus….. WHY ARE THE VACCINATED NOT REQUIRED TO BE TESTED ALSO? https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/30/1022867219/cdc-study-provincetown-delta-vaccinated-breakthrough-mask-guidance

  15. Healthcare worker shortage, just got worse, now they will be able to say that they system is overwhelmed, and it will be, because they will only have enough workers to tend to three or four beds.

  16. Big pharma and government working together as usual…
    “We need to increase public understanding of the need for medical countermeasures such as a pan coronavirus vaccine. A key driver is the media and the economics will follow the hype. We need to use that hype to our advantage to get to the real issues. Investors will respond if they see profit at the end of the process.” Statement made in 2015 by Peter Daszak…reported in the National Academies Press publication, February 12, 2016.

    1. False! Try again. Surgical masks, bandanas and cloth masks do virtually nothing to prevent or spread airborne or aerosolized virus. They may or may not be effective for droplets.

      1. Just keep thinking doctors are wrong, that is what is wrong with people, they think people die because they are weak, sorry all, but a very well kept 35 yr old father of 2, mail delivery man, didn’t smoke, had no underlying conditions died from covid, I will let his wife know that covid is fake, I am very sure she will let her kids know that when they are old enough to understand as well.

  17. how many have reailized the past 4+ years this whole thing is spinning into a “us and them” thing?
    From protests to who you voted for to getting a jab or not,,enough already!
    I think the Covid thing is the biggest scam,yes there are deaths from underlying things ,but the virus as with ANY yearly virus mutates ,this will never end with jabbing every six months as I see it,what was the news of a newly found version of covid? the possible worst yet?.

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