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26 Aug

August 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

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Temporary Rule Requiring Healthcare Worker Vaccinations in Oregon

Update Applicable to:
Employers with healthcare providers and staff in Oregon.

What happened?
On August 5, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) enacted a temporary rule for COVID-19 prevention measures.

What are the details?
Effective immediately and through January 31, 2022, the temporary rule requires healthcare personnel and healthcare staff who work in healthcare settings to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis at a minimum. The standards set by the rule must be met and implemented by September 30, 2021.

The workers covered in the rule are individuals —either paid or unpaid—who work, learn, assist, observe, or volunteer in a “healthcare setting” and who are “providing direct patient or resident care” or are potentially exposed to patients, residents, or infectious materials. This includes traditional healthcare providers (e.g., physicians and nurses), but it also includes “unlicensed caregivers” and employees working in clerical, security, billing, and administrative functions, among others, in healthcare settings.

The healthcare settings covered by the rule include any place where physical or behavioral health care is delivered. Included are nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult foster homes, residential facilities, residential behavioral health facilities, pharmacies, hospice, vehicles or temporary sites where health care is delivered (for example, mobile clinics, ambulances), and outpatient facilities (e.g dialysis centers, health care provider offices, behavioral health care offices, urgent care centers, counseling offices, as well as chiropractic or acupuncture clinics.

The rule also requires Oregon employers of healthcare providers or healthcare staff, contractors, or responsible parties have and follow a policy for

  • Requesting and obtaining proof of vaccination from every healthcare provider and healthcare staff person.
  • Requiring COVID-19 testing “on at least a weekly basis” for healthcare providers and healthcare staff persons who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is not known.
  • Maintaining documentation of weekly COVID-19 test results for any healthcare provider or healthcare staff person who is unvaccinated or has an unknown vaccination status.

The rule can be read here.

An article on the rule can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Covered employers should review the temporary rule and update their applicable policies to stay compliant with the COVID-19 guidelines set in place by the rule.