JACKSON CO., Oregon – Oregon is slated to reopen tomorrow, but local county leaders are reluctant to change COVID restrictions as OSHA rules remain in place.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health tells me that COVID restrictions such as face masks and social distancing will no longer be enforced as of tomorrow.
However, a lack of communication with county leaders may delay the lifting of restrictions in some places.
“OSHA, they are separate from the governor’s orders, so previously they said they were going to carry out their orders, but they haven’t released anything so far regarding the recent announcement of the June 30 opening,” County Administrator Danny Jordan said.
Jackson County leaders were feeling frustrated during their Tuesday morning meeting.
Jordan, in discussion with county commissioners, said getting rid of COVID restrictions could result in a fine, if there is no accompanying state directive.
“Here we are, the governor says we’re getting back to normal on Wednesday, but then we have a state agency that put in place these rules which can actually be punitive in many ways, especially financial,” Jordan said. .
Commissioners decided at the meeting to write to OSHA in hopes of getting the rules repealed so the county can slowly return to pre-pandemic life.
“I’m going to send correspondence to OSHA asking them to do something with this again, one of the reasons the government has announced this may be to put some certainty into the process, especially to businesses that need time to prepare and have been the hardest hit, ”said Commissioner Rick Dyer.
I contacted an OSHA spokesperson, Aaron Corvin, who told me that these restrictions were indeed going to go away.
“We will lift, remove, the facial coverage and physical distancing requirements. “
When asked why OSHA took more than 2 weeks to notify county leaders of this change, Corvin said OSHA is trying to get the word out as best it can.
“We’re developing some key messages that I think we’re rolling out today, you know, the next steps, reopening the Oregon OSHA side. We try to create these messages and get them out to as many people as possible, ”Corvin said.
When we broke this news to County Commissioner Dave Dotterrer he gave us a statement saying, “It would have been good if they issued directives faster, at least 48 hours, mainly for the good of business and stability. .
Jackson County Commissioners are meeting again tomorrow.
Commissioner Dotterrer says he is not sure whether they will discuss removing COVID restrictions in the county or not, as they still have yet to hear directly from OSHA.
Private companies are allowed to set their own rules regarding COVID restrictions.
In school, she covered Oregon track and field for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When not reporting, she reads, hikes and supports her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and Oregon Ducks.