Published: May 14, 2021

Governor Kate Brown issued a major policy shift today, lifting the requirement for masks to be worn in most public spaces. This will likely have a major impact on SEIU 503 members who wear masks at work and who interact with the public, however, no changes will take place immediately in workplace settings.

The announcement allows business, and other employers, to begin to amend their rules about masks so long as they verify the vaccination status of employees and, potentially, customers. How this will be rolled out remains to be seen.

Key points:

  1. Long-term care facilities, other healthcare settings, and schools are not including in the new, more relaxed rules. Mask requirement will remain in place in those settings.
  2. There is no information yet about how this impacts state and local government office buildings and public employees working in the field. So assume nothing changes until you hear more.

Our expectation is that workers should have a say in how reopening is handled. After all, we’re the ones in the frontline jobs taking on most of the risks. News will likely come fast over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on your email for the latest updates.

Here’s the full announcement from Governor Brown. The Oregonian has a good breakdown of the announcement’s impact here.