Our my employees Frontline Workers?

By Oregon Business and Industry

Frontline workers, as defined by the CDC, and Oregonians 16+ with underlying health conditions — both of which were scheduled to become eligible for the vaccine on April 19 — will now be eligible beginning April 5.

This has raised several questions among OBI members, who are left wondering if their employees count as “frontline” or not. Here is a four-point test to answer that question:

– Does the employee have routine contact (15 minutes or more) with others outside of their household because of their job?
– Is the employee unable to safely maintain six feet of distance from others while performing the job?
– Is the employee unable to perform their job duties from home or another remote location that limits contact with people outside of their household?
– Is the job represented in the broad industry list defined by the CDC as essential? This includes the entire list.

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, the employee is considered a frontline worker who qualifies for the vaccine beginning April 5.

Companies need to apply these tests to different employee groups within their organizations. If they have some employees working remotely who do not meet the test, they are not considered frontline workers. The state is providing discretion to employers to make the determination of who is a frontline worker.

Monday, March 29, the following Oregonians will become eligible for vaccination, as previously scheduled:

– Adults 45-64 with underlying health conditions,
– Migrant and seasonal farm workers,
– Seafood and agricultural workers,
– Food processing workers,
– People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living,
– People experiencing homelessness,
– People currently displaced by wildfires,
– Wildland firefighters, and
– Pregnant people 16 and older.

Monday, April 5, the following groups will become eligible for vaccination, two weeks earlier than previously planned:

– Frontline workers as defined by the CDC,
– Multigenerational household members, and
– Adults 16 and older with underlying health conditions.

As previously scheduled, all Oregonians 16+ will become eligible on May 1.

The Oregon Health Authority has created an employer toolkit that can help you prepare your workers to receive the vaccine as they become eligible.