vaccine

Portland will require some 2,500 city vendors, contractors, grant recipients and volunteers to get the jab protecting against COVID-19.

The new policy, which takes effect Jan. 3, applies to all those who perform in-person work at city-owned indoor facilities for more than 15 minutes. Workers will be required to wear KN95 masks while on the job indoors until the mandate takes effect.

"We're committed to helping Portland recover from this pandemic by making city worksites as safe as possible," said Biko Taylor, the city's chief procurement officer. "We're also committed to making this policy as simple as possible for local businesses and volunteers, who are essential to our city's economic health and vitality."

Those covered by the new vaccination requirement include laborers, custodial staff, suppliers, as well as volunteers who yank invasive ivy out of city parks or patrol the streets as part of Neighborhood Emergency Teams.

Medical and religious exceptions will be available. However, those deemed eligible for an exemption will be required to test negative for the novel coronavirus twice a week, wear a face covering, maintain six feet of distance whenever possibly, and work from home when feasible, according to a news release.

Portland says about 97% of direct city employees complied with a previous vaccine mandate that took effect last month, with only about 90 employees losing their jobs, according to KATU.

Multnomah County announced in a news release that 92% of the government's 5,600 employees got the shot, another 7%, or 373 employees, had an exemption approved, and 73 employees did not meet the deadline and faced losing their job.

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