Inadvertently, an Oregon government agency releases 40,000 state workers with documented vaccination status

Inadvertently, an Oregon government agency releases 40,000 state workers with documented vaccination ...

The Oregonian/OregonLive and another media outlet were unaware of the vaccination status of more than 40,000 individual state employees on Monday.

A spreadsheet sent to the news organizations was supposed to contain the latest vaccination rates and vaccine exemption rates for each executive branch agency headed by Gov. Kate Brown, who in August ordered many state workers to get vaccinated by Monday. The Oregonian/OregonLive has requested daily updates from the state but only aggregate statistics for each agency in recent days.

Instead, Oregon Department of Administrative Services External Relations Director Adam Crawford sent a document to The Oregonian/OregonLive and the Salem Statesman Journal Monday containing vaccination status by name for all executive branch employees: whether they are verified as vaccinated, received remuneration or religious exemption, or their vaccination record or exemption request is still being processed, even if they haven't provided any information.

Crawford took the blame for the release of the data. Its a mistake on my part, he said in referring to completing.

Ben Morris, a spokesperson for SEIU 503, said the release of information breaches an agreement the union signed with the state in September that required the federal government to keep individuals vaccination information confidential.

Morris added, however, that even more alarming is that one of the most common complaints we heard from members who were vaccine hesitant is they were concerned about their privacy in this situation. At the worst possible moment, this is a breach of trust.

Morris said the union is still deciding how to respond.

The Oregonian/OregonLive will not release the entire dataset online, as it does with other state employee datasets such as salary information and public employee pensions.

The data show, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive, that the state's largest agencies with low verified as vaccinated rates among their workers include Oregon State Police (74%), the Department of Corrections (70%) and the Forestry Department (65%). The corrections department and the state police agency granted some of the highest rates of religious exemptions, at 19% and 14%, respectively.

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