Oregon OSHA will repeal parts of COVID-19 workplace rule in line with governor’s announced vaccination target

As Oregon Gov. Kate Brown  announced last week, once Oregon reaches the 70 percent vaccination threshold the state will not require masks and face coverings in almost all settings, with some exceptions following federal guidance, including airports, public transit, and health care settings. The governor has also asked Oregon OSHA to review its workplace rules and update them based on this decision. 

Consistent with the governor’s decision, Oregon OSHA intends to repeal the basic face covering and physical distancing requirements of its COVID-19 rule when the state reaches 70 percent of its adults vaccinated against the virus with at least one dose. Oregon OSHA is also convening stakeholders to review its COVID-19 rules in light of the governor’s announcement and to determine whether other provisions should be repealed. Oregon OSHA expects to begin those discussions during the week of June 14. 

Oregon OSHA extended its rule, which took effect May 4, to maintain risk-reducing safety measures for workers against the coronavirus. Although the rule includes several changes based on the public comments received since the rule was proposed in late January, the basic requirements are largely consistent with those that have been in place since Oregon OSHA adopted a temporary workplace rule in November of last year. The rule largely reflects the guidance produced by the Oregon Health Authority and enforced in the workplace by Oregon OSHA.

When it extended the rule in May, Oregon OSHA committed to an ongoing process to eventually repeal it. As part of that process, Oregon OSHA will consult with the Oregon OSHA Partnership Committee, the Oregon Health Authority, the two Infectious Disease Rulemaking Advisory Committees, and other stakeholders.

Learn more about Oregon OSHA’s workplace guidance and resources related to COVID-19.

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