OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY: Mask and Vaccine Requirements – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for OAR chapter 333, division 19

The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, is proposing to permanently adopt Oregon Administrative Rules in chapter 333, division 19 regarding:

  • Masking and Vaccination Requirements to Control COVID-19 in Health Care Settings (OAR 333-019-1010 and 333-019-1011)
  • Masking Requirements in Schools; Vaccination Requirements for Teachers and School Staff (OAR 333-019-1015 and 333-019-1030)
  • Adoption of a Rule Requiring Masks to be Worn in Indoor Spaces in Oregon (OAR 333-019-1025)

Importance of Masking
COVID-19 infection is transmitted predominately by inhalation of respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. Studies show that masks and face coverings block the release of respiratory droplets into the environment and can also reduce the wearer’s exposure to droplets. COVID-19 viral particles spread between people more readily indoors and when people are closer together for longer periods of time indoors.

Importance of Vaccinations
It is vital to this state that healthcare providers and healthcare staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 undergoes frequent mutations as it replicates, which over time has resulted in variants that are more transmissible or cause more severe disease. Unvaccinated individuals exposed to COVID-19 are very likely to become infected in the absence of mitigation measures and may then transmit the virus to others. Fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 (known as vaccine breakthrough infections) much less often than unvaccinated people. Being vaccinated is critical to prevent spread of COVID-19. Healthcare providers and healthcare staff have contact with multiple patients over the course of a typical day and week. The CDC recommends vaccination against COVID-19 for all eligible individuals.

These rules are necessary to control COVID-19, reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and provide general health protection to people in Oregon.

Please see the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking for further details.

You are being invited to review these proposed rules and to comment on them. If you wish to present oral testimony, public hearings will be held remotely via video/teleconference using Microsoft Teams at the following times:

Adoption of a Rule Requiring Masks to be Worn in Indoor Spaces in Oregon (OAR 333-019-1025):
January 20, 2022 at 10:00 AM (Phone Conference ID: 389 374 45#)

Masking Requirements in Schools; Vaccination Requirements for Teachers and School Staff (OAR 333-019-1015 and 333-019-1030):
January 24, 2022 at 9:00 AM (Phone Conference ID: 662 539 793#)

Masking and Vaccination Requirements to Control COVID-19 in Health Care Settings (OAR 333-019-1010 and 333-019-1011):
January 24, 2022 at 2:00 PM (Phone Conference ID: 191 715 671#)

To provide oral testimony during any of these hearings, please contact publichealth.rules@dhsoha.state.or.us to sign-up and receive the link for the Microsoft Teams video conference. Alternatively, for audio only, you may dial 971-277-2343 using the phone conference ID# as the password, listed for each hearing above.

You may also file written comments on these proposed rules before 5:00 p.m. on January 24, 2022 to the Public Health Division Rules Coordinator at the following address:

OHA, Public Health Division
Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, Oregon 97232

Email comments to: publichealth.rules@dhsoha.state.or.us. You may also send comments by fax to: (971) 673-1299.

Please indicate in your written comments which rule number(s) you are commenting on so they can be entered into the appropriate rulemaking record.

Final rules will be filed after consideration of all comments.

For more details, please see the attached Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact and the full text of the proposed rules. This information is also available at the following website: www.healthoregon.org/diseasereporting

If you have any questions, please contact publichealth.rules@dhsoha.state.or.us.