Commissioners Approve Resolution Declaring Emergency Due to Foreseeable Staffing Shortage of Health and Safety Workers

September 15, 2021

In a regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting held this morning, the Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution stating concern for the foreseeable future regarding an insufficient amount of qualified local staff to continue to provide basic public health and safety services to the citizens of Union County.

This anticipated shortage of staffing is due to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement placed upon all healthcare providers and many emergency responders by Governor Kate Brown.  It is expected that the October 18, 2021 vaccination deadline imposed by the Governor for these providers will result in many becoming unemployed.

The Board of Commissioners are requesting that the State of Oregon withdraw the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in order to prevent further loss of the vital public health and safety workforce.  As an alternative, a request is also being made that Union County be exempted from the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, returning authority of the matter to Union County as the local public health authority.

The resolution may be read in its entirety at Resolution 2021-16 Declaring a Local State of Emergency within Union County.