The Oregonian blasts mask law. Schools scrap policy. Big blowback.

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

This has been a bad week for Oregon Covid mandates which been among the nation’s most restrictive

• The Sunday Oregonian Editorial issued a statement against the Oregon permanent mask rule stating,

“…the Oregon Health Authority should abandon a proposal to replace its current temporary indoor mask requirement with a ‘permanent’ rule”

… State epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger said in a press conference Friday that it wouldn’t be wise to set up firm metrics when it’s impossible to know what the situation will be months into the future. But such an “I’ll know it when I see it” approach frustrates Oregonians…exacerbates mistrust…”

“.. If the state insists on pursuing a permanent rule, it should at least provide a basic level of transparency into what benchmarks would trigger a repeal…”

• Portland Public Schools scrapped their failed quarantine rules.  Previously students who contacted Omicron had to spend hours filling out detailed reports of every individual they were in contact with over the previous days.   Those students who made the list and had contact were then asked to quarantine from school.   That heavy-handed process was scrapped.

•  School sports were allowed to be open even when the entire school was closed.  This brought sharp criticism from parents. 

• Media faults nurse shortage crisis which is tied to mandate:  Oregon’s hospital staff shortage is among the worst in the nation.  This has created a secondary impact of hiring replacement nurses at the highest rate in the nation ($225 an hour) which depleted funds available to hire other nurses.

Oregon was among only six states (see below) to issue vaccinate-or-be-fired policies.

This only exacerbated the health-worker labor shortage that existed before the mandate went into effect.

This mandate was stricter than national mandates which allowed for weekly testing for vaccinated.  Six other states allowed the unvaccinated to be regularly tested instead of outright firing.  Most other states had even more flexible options than the weekly testing allowing them not to fire medical staff in time of need.

Oregon seems to chose the most restrictive mandates in the nation without providing for any thought to the impact it will have.

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