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Oregon Governor’s new mask mandate applies to outdoor venues and the vaccinated

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a state-wide mask mandate Tuesday. Now, Brown expects all Oregonians, vaccinated or otherwise, to wear masks indoors and outdoors. The mandate will go into effect Friday.

“Today we have 1,000 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals,” Brown tweeted along the announcement. “I’m continuing to take actions to protect Oregonians and save lives.”

According to Brown, the high caseload of the COVID-19 Delta variant is overwhelming local hospitals. “In some cases, hospitals are having to put patients in hallways,” she said. This was a result that state Rep. Daniel Bonham (R) warned about over the weekend.

“With forced vaccination mandates – what will be the impact to our quality of health care, law enforcement & education when we are already short handed?” Bonham tweeted before the announcement. “Governor Brown must know that we will lose employees in these sectors. What’s the plan to backfill those positions?”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D) has remained silent on the issue, seemingly agreeing with the move. Oregon’s federal representatives, four of whom are Democrat with one Republican, haven’t made comments either. Their senators as well are silent.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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