Portland, Oregon (AP) – Oregon adopted a controversial rule on Tuesday to widen the scope of the coronavirus mask and social distance requirements for all businesses in the state to none. set
Government officials said the rules, which garner thousands of public opinions, will be used until “There is no longer a need to deal with the effects of an outbreak in the workplace.”
“We review all comments, including many against the rules, and we take special consideration of those that explain their reasons or provide concrete information,” said Michael Wood, State Department of Occupational Safety and Health Supervisor. “Even if we choose to go ahead with the rules But the final product has changed a lot according to that record. “
Oregon, one of the nation̵7;s most restrictive COVID-19 restrictions, has previously had business masking rules. But it is only temporary and cannot be extended beyond 180 days. That led Wood to create a permanent rule with the intent of repealing at some point.
“By missing the workplace with COVID-19 protection, workers are much less protected. And it will give employers who want to know what they can expect with less definitive agreements than the rules, ”Wood said.
But the proposal sparked a harsh response, with everyone – from parents, teachers to business owners and employees – crying over the government.
Wood’s agency received more than 5,000 comments – the most important one, and nearly 70,000 residents signed a petition against the rule.
Opponents raised concerns that there would be no specific sunset date or metric for when the rule would automatically be terminated, so Wood said the final rule had much more detail on the process and the criteria it would. Used to decide to cancel a rule
The rule requires employers to make sure that under most circumstances people wear a mask while working inside and use an outside mask if they must be within six feet of the person. It also requires businesses to ensure that people are not within six feet of each other unless they are practically unavailable for certain activities.
The agency said it would be considered if the rule could be lifted starting no later than July.
In addition to mask and clearance requirements, the rules – which also include airflow requirements and practices, ventilation, employee alerts in the event of an outbreak, and sanitation regulations – along with actions. And separate restrictions by Gov. Kate Brown, the latest addition to the district. Risk level
Oregon last week recorded the fastest growing COVID-19 infection rates in the country and resulted in Brown implementing additional restrictions in 15 counties, including a ban on indoor dining at restaurants and Bars and greatly diminishes the ability in gyms and indoor entertainment areas.
The restrictions have been criticized by business owners and Republican lawmakers.
On Tuesday, those counties returned to the same levels, effective Friday, as the average seven-day increase for patients with COVID-19 hospitalized fell below 15 percent, according to the report. It means that indoor dining and other activities are allowed.
“As Oregon residents are continually vaccinated each week, my expectation is that we will never return to serious risk at the time of this outbreak,” Brown said.
So far, about a third of the population in Oregon have been fully vaccinated.
Approximately 75% of adult ICU beds with government officials and about 85% of non-state ICU adult beds are owned, according to the Oregon Health Authority data provided.
In the past month, COVID-19 has more than doubled in hospitals in Oregon, with 345 people hospitalized for the virus as of Tuesday.
Klein is a member of The Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative Report for America, a nonprofit national service program that lets reporters in the local newsroom report undisclosed issues.