Oregon’s New Face Covering Guidance and How it Affects Employers
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released interim guidance relating to face coverings and physical distancing requirements for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Effective May 18, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals who have proof of vaccination status are not required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield, or maintain physical distancing outdoors and in certain indoor public settings where vaccination status is reviewed and confirmed prior to entry. “Fully vaccinated individuals” are those who have received both doses of a two dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since the individual’s final dose.
Under the interim guidance, fully vaccinated individuals must continue to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing in certain settings, regardless of confirmation of vaccination status. Those settings include health care settings, correctional facilities, shelters and transitional housing, K-12 schools, public transportation, transportation hubs, and in settings where the owner or operator continues to apply and enforce face covering and physical distancing state guidance requirements. Consistent with existing guidance, masks with holes, gaps, openings, or vents do not satisfy the face covering requirement.
Businesses, employers, and faith institutions must continue to enforce existing mask and physical distancing requirements unless the entity implements a policy for checking proof of vaccination and requests and reviews proof of vaccination status prior to entry. A business, employer, or faith institution that has and enforces such a policy may permit fully vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination to go without a mask and does not need to enforce physical distancing for such individuals. Businesses, employers, and faith institutions now have the choice to either continue to enforce the masking and social distancing requirements that have been in place or, as an alternative, permit fully-vaccinated persons to go without masks and social distancing as long as vaccinated status is checked. If an employee or visitor states they are fully vaccinated but declines to provide proof, the business, employer, or faith institution must continue to enforce mask and social distancing requirements. The guidance encourages, but does not require, businesses, employers, and faith institutions to post signs about mask, face covering, and face shield requirements.
On May 19, 2021, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a statement confirming that Oregon employers may follow the OHA guidance regarding vaccinated employees and business visitors. The OHA and OSHA guidance apply statewide.
For more information please contact a member of Dunn Carney’s Employment Law Team.
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