PORTLAND – Oregon’s state health officer said Friday businesses will be asked to either enforce mask policies or check whether customers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The comments by Dr. Dean Sidelinger came as he said the state was still working on releasing more detailed guidance for businesses. Late Thursday Gov. Kate Brown said Oregon would immediately follow direction from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier in the day which eased indoor mask-wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people.
Brown said Oregonians who are fully-vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most public spaces, adding the state would provide more specific instructions soon.
Sidelinger said for now it’s up to businesses to determine a person’s vaccine status.
“We would anticipate that an establishment or business will have to have a system in place for asking about vaccines status and verifying that. Right now I would anticipate that would be seeing a card with the individual’s name, the vaccine site and date they got it, it could be a picture of the vaccine card or record from provider on their phone, but just a way of seeing that,” he said.
The federal guidance issued Thursday still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues.
Currently people over the age of 12 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Oregon.