Some Oregon hospitals requiring employees to get vaccinated

JACKSON CO., Ore.- With Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise across the state, hospitals are taking action. To help curb the spread and protect at-risk people, some Oregon hospitals are starting to require their employees to get vaccinated.

Kaiser Permanente announced yesterday it will require all its employees and physicians to be vaccinated against Covid-19. It wants its whole workforce vaccinated by September 30th.

Oregon Health and Science University said by September 1st, it also plans on requiring employees to get the vaccine or an approved exemption.

Peace health will require many employees to be vaccinated starting August 31st Employees who do not get vaccinated will face regular testing and extra mask requirements. They could also be transferred to different settings, where they would not be involved in patient care.

This comes in spite of a 1989 Oregon law that prevents hospitals from requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment.

We reached out to Asante and Providence to see if they’re considering making a similar move.

An Asante spokesperson said they could not comment as there are too many unknowns. Providence has not responded. Sky Lakes declined to comment.

We took a look at the OHA’s 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.

Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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