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Republican lawmakers send letter urging Gov. Brown to drop 'vaccine passport' policy

A number of Republican state Representatives signed a letter to Governor Kate Brown telling her to align Oregon's mask policy with Washington and California, though the two states have adopted different concepts.

Posted: May 26, 2021 12:06 PM
Updated: May 26, 2021 5:30 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives have signed onto a letter urging Governor Kate Brown to drop the state's "vaccine passport" policy, saying that the state should be aligned with mask guidance in Washington and California.

"Unlike Washington and California, Oregon’s response to the announcement from the White House and the CDC puts pressure on businesses and exposes front-line workers to confrontation. Patrons are required to either display proof of vaccination as a passport or continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccine or immunity status. Both options for businesses contradict CDC guidelines," the lawmakers said.

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, who penned her own letter critical of the policy last week, was first to sign onto the new letter. Southern Oregon Representatives Kim Wallan, Lily Morgan, E. Werner Reschke, and David Brock Smith also signed their names.

Though the House Republicans say that Oregon should be aligning itself with Washington and California, officials in those two states have carved two very different paths in response to the CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people.


RELATED: Jackson County Commissioners will urge Gov. Brown to ditch vaccination status checks


California decided to eschew the new CDC guidance until June 15, when Governor Gavin Newsom has said that most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted entirely.

Washington, on the other hand, adopted an "honor system" policy, allowing people who claim to be fully vaccinated to stop using masks and distancing where allowed. Businesses are still given the option to keep mask and distancing requirements in place if they prefer.

The policies are similar in that neither state embraced checking proof of vaccination status, while Oregon's policy provides this as an option for businesses and venues. Like Washington, businesses in Oregon can continue to require masks and distancing broadly — the difference being that people are not taken at their word for claiming to be fully vaccinated if the business decides to go that route.

"At the beginning of the pandemic Oregon committed to aligning regulations with Washington and California. We should not become an outlier now. We are reaching the end of the pandemic and should be lifting mandates, not adding new ones," the Republican lawmakers wrote. "We request that you end this vaccine passport/verification system immediately. It is time to place our trust in Oregonians again. They have earned it."

The Oregon Health Authority's guidance was released last Tuesday, and the agency scheduled a briefing for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday with Oregon OSHA to answer questions about the policy.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 217690

Reported Deaths: 2849
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41633618
Washington27703258
Marion24391330
Clackamas19818241
Lane14732174
Jackson12414153
Deschutes1049387
Umatilla939694
Linn620281
Yamhill504281
Klamath492479
Douglas440787
Polk426957
Josephine410075
Malheur365967
Benton343622
Jefferson248942
Coos228439
Columbia207632
Union164924
Lincoln153122
Wasco151931
Crook138524
Hood River125534
Morrow121717
Clatsop114510
Baker108217
Curry76812
Tillamook7415
Grant5597
Lake4878
Harney45511
Wallowa2256
Gilliam851
Sherman812
Wheeler381
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3935590

Reported Deaths: 64341
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles129039524658
Riverside3068364659
San Bernardino3058275236
San Diego2941763798
Orange2812285143
Santa Clara1228212099
Sacramento1146521775
Kern1129331420
Fresno1042881746
Alameda955391280
Ventura835231043
San Joaquin769151460
Contra Costa75842830
Stanislaus655371088
Tulare50324854
Monterey44438526
San Mateo44378588
San Francisco39939563
Solano35703261
Santa Barbara35546467
Merced32961484
Sonoma32526329
Imperial29048745
Placer24955307
Kings23566250
San Luis Obispo21970265
Madera16998249
Santa Cruz16532207
Marin14791239
Yolo14759215
Butte13176205
Shasta12925242
El Dorado11010120
Napa1040084
Sutter10126115
Yuba694951
San Benito626363
Lassen587626
Tehama583666
Nevada532475
Humboldt501053
Mendocino465851
Tuolumne446173
Lake415765
Amador386148
Siskiyou255440
Glenn246027
Colusa235718
Calaveras229558
Del Norte16128
Inyo145338
Mono13195
Plumas7656
Modoc5737
Mariposa4977
Trinity4596
Sierra1260
Alpine890
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