(ETH) – Oregon has lifted its mask mandate for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus but is requiring businesses, workplaces, and houses of worship to verify the vaccination status of individuals before they enter buildings without a mask.
This statewide mandate, one of the first of its kind in the country, raised concerns that the procedure of verifying vaccinations could be too cumbersome for workers. Many states have lifted mask requirements without requiring confirmation that individuals have been vaccinated after new federal guidance last week said vaccinated people could choose to go maskless in most cases.
New York adopted that guidance on Wednesday, though businesses will be allowed to enforce stricter rules. Some Republican governors, like Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, have instead not only lifted mask rules but banned local governments from enforcing their own.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, also a Republican, issued an executive order last month prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccine documentation. The notion of relying on the honor system, which some states and businesses have adopted, has raised its own questions.
And business groups in Oregon expressed concerns that a mandate to check vaccination status could become — like mask enforcement — a difficult and potentially dangerous proposition for workers.
“We have serious concerns about the practicality of requiring business owners and workers to be the enforcer,” said Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for Oregon Business and Industry, which represents companies like Nike, as well as small businesses. “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.” READ MORE