The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is requiring that people in workplaces, businesses, and religious sites show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to be allowed maskless entry to the facilities.
"Businesses, employers and faith institutions doing so must have a policy in place to check the vaccination status of all individuals before they enter their establishment. Businesses, employers and faith institutions who do not create such policies will maintain the same masking guidance listed below, regardless of an individual's vaccination status."
A spokesperson for business group Oregon Business and Industry, Nathaniel Brown, told the New York Times that they "have serious concerns about the practicality of requiring business owners and workers to be the enforcer."
“We are hearing from retailers and small businesses who are concerned about putting their frontline workers in a potentially untenable position when dealing with customers,” Brown said.
“We’re not counting on vaccine mandates at all. It may very well be that local businesses, local jurisdictions will work toward vaccine mandates. That is going to be locally driven and not federally driven,” Walensky told NBC.
New York, which is offering free vaccination and incentives to get the shot, released in March an application that could act as a COVID-19 vaccine passport.
“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement.
With the move, Oregon is the first state to implement a system that requires people entering workplaces, businesses, and religious sites to show proof of vaccination.