Oregon saw a 34% increase in COVID-19 cases over the last week, shrouding the beginning of the 2020 holiday season in anxiety for working Oregonians and their families. According to the weekly report from the Oregon Health Authority, workplaces are also seeing a concerning number of cases, with 9,967 infections and 53 deaths stemming from workplace outbreaks.
One in six Oregonians have contracted COVID-19 from workplace outbreaks. The Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued temporary rules to better protect workers from exposure to COVID-19 at work, but unions and worker advocates remain committed to pushing for stronger protections. Graham Trainor, Oregon AFL-CIO President, remarked on the alarming resurgence of COVID-19:
“Yesterday, many working people and families celebrated Thanksgiving but for too many there were empty seats from loved ones who have died due to COVID-19 or who chose not to join family in an effort to slow the spread of the pandemic. Oregon’s unions are advocating for stronger workplace protections to safeguard workers and their families in the hope that next Thanksgiving we can safely attend gatherings because the virus will be contained. Protecting workers on the job is critical to the containment of COVID-19 and is the least we can do to honor the service and sacrifice of frontline and essential workers as well as everyone who has lost their livelihood during this incredibly difficult time.”
To find information about workplace outbreaks or to file a complaint about your workplace in Oregon, please visit the Oregon AFL-CIO’s searchable database at www.oraflcio.org/osha. We will continue to update this database weekly after the OHA data is released as a resource for Oregonians.