SALEM, Ore.- Health care personnel will be required to get weekly COVID-19 testing if they are unvaccinated starting at the end of next month.
Governor Kate Brown announced Wednesday that people working in health care settings will be required to show proof of their vaccination status, or be tested weekly for covid starting September 30th.
“The more contagious Delta variant has changed everything. 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,” Governor Brown said. “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.”
Governor Brown’s office says the notice will give employers time to implement the new rule, and health care workers time to be fully vaccinated.
Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, applauded the decision. Scott Palmer, spokesperson with the Oregon Nurses Association, calling it, “a reasonable and sensible approach which respects the individual choices of health care workers while also protecting public health.”
NBC5 News previously reported some Oregon hospitals are requiring employees to get vaccinated.
The OHA publishes data on the vaccination rates of health care workers across the state.
Every southern Oregon county ranks in the bottom half of Oregon counties by percentage. Jackson County has 64% of licensed health care workers vaccinated. That’s 10% more than Josephine County, which has 54% vaccinated.