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Oregon Health Authority advises employers to be flexible in enforcing Oct. 18 vaccine mandate

Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

SALEM - The Oregon Health Authority has advised the state and employers of health care staff, educators and others facing the Oct. 18 vaccine mandate not to fire employees over the deadline.

“Everybody doesn’t need to turn into a pumpkin on the 18th,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. “But they can’t be in an in-patient- and student-facing work anymore at that point.”

The agency advised employers to let staff work remotely, take vacation time or unpaid leave to meet the deadline, he told the Oregon Health Policy Board on Tuesday. The board advises the state agency.

“There’s flexibility to not actually have to terminate people,” Allen said. “But people still really do need to get . . .