Lane County announced Thursday that all county employees and volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Nov. 30. Those who miss the deadline could face provisional layoffs.
County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky says the decision, which includes exemptions, was made in light of the surge in cases and concern for workplace outbreaks.
They surveyed over 1300 employees and feedback suggested a need to protect children. The county employs about 1,700 people.
“That really resonated,” he said. “It’s really impacted us as an organization to the recognition that this disease does not know the boundaries of the walls of a workplace that it gets carried to our homes and it can infect children who have not yet been vaccinated.”
Employees who miss the Nov. 30 deadline could face provisional layoff. But, Mokrohisky said they have six months to be recalled if they get vaccinated and their position is still available.
Law enforcement and parole officers are exempt from the requirements because of state laws ORS 433.416 and ORS 433.407, Lane County Spokesperson Devon Ashbridge said. Ashbridge adds if any changes to these laws occur, either at the federal or state level, the exemption would be lifted.
For employees considered healthcare workers or teachers, the Nov. 30 deadline does not apply since they will need to follow the state’s Oct. 13 deadline, meaning the county’s deadline is not an extension.