On mask and vaccine mandates, and what is holding some back

With Delta surge, masks return

The Oregon Health Authority has followed the CDC in recommending all to wear masks in indoor public settings. A mandate has not returned, and Lane County is now simply following in amplifying the recommendation for now, but is working on a proposal to provide to County Commissioners.

Individual organizations are implementing mask mandates. The City of Eugene starting making it a requirement in all of their buildings at the end of last week. The Governor has required K-12 students, employees, and visitors to wear masks for the upcoming school year, and the UO is also reinstating its mask mandates.

To combat COVID and the Delta surge the VA instituted a vaccine mandate. Though many other healthcare providers in Oregon will not be able to mandate their workers be vaccinated because of a more than 30 year old law. Oregon Health Authority’s Patrick Allen has said the institution is reluctant to push for a change in the law because of already low staffing levels in the industry. Oregon Nurses Association has voiced opposition to a mandate on similar grounds. Gov. Brown is looking into a mandate for public employees.

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