PRESS RELEASE: The Oregon Public Health Coaltion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
-or- Lisa Reynolds MD
The Oregon Public Health Coalition
A Coalition of organizations, health care workers and the general public
supporting Governor Brown’s actions on COVID and urging further measures.
August 7, 2020 (Portland, OR) - Lisa Reynolds, M.D, announces the formation of the Oregon Public Health Coalition. The Coalition supports Governor Brown’s efforts on COVID and urges the state to take further action. The Coalition includes several large unions including Oregon Nurses Association and SEIU as well as the advocacy group PCUN. Over 60 health care workers and individuals have signed on as well.
The Oregon Public Health Coaltion presents its guiding principles:
Government’s responsibility is the health and welfare of the public.
A healthy public is required to have a healthy economy.
The public must have access to care to stay healthy.
Jobs and economic security must be protected for those impacted by COVID19 infection.
The Oregon Public Health Coalition asks Governor Brown and the state to strengthen Oregon’s response to COVID to slow its spread and to be able to further open the economy and reopen Oregon schools:
Universal Masking: Require masks in all workplaces, not just public facing.
Comprehensive Testing: Increase access to testing.
Tracing and Notification: Build up our public health infrastructure.
Isolation and Quarantine Relief: Support Oregonians in the difficulties presented by quarantining and isolating oneself/family in order to slow COVID.
Local PPE: Oregon can be a leader and innovator and become self-sufficient in designing and manufacturing PPE.
The full document, Oregon Public Health Coalition's Principles and Measures, can be found here.
“As a pediatrician on the front lines of the COVID pandemic, I applaud Governor Brown’s approach, including requiring masks in public spaces as well as the criteria the Governor outlined for reopening schools,” said Dr. Lisa Reynolds. “I’ve partnered with several large organizations to come to a consensus about what more Oregon can do to slow the spread of COVID as well as to protect Oregonians who are exposed.”
As Steve Demarest, president of SEIU 503, explains, "if workers are considered essential, our health should be as well. Ongoing workplace outbreaks, including for our members at the Oregon Employment Division, underscore the need for remote working when possible as well as sufficient PPE, universal masking, PTO for isolation or quarantine, and access to testing for employees who must go to a worksite. Oregon needs to respect all workers."
The list of coalition members as of Aug 7, 2020: Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), SEIU (Service Employees International Union), PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste), AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations), AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), Latino Network and the Oregon Law Center.
The Coalition plans to work with the Governor and with OHA to help implement the changes outlined in our Principles and Measures Document. We are here to support strong action on COVID so that Oregonians can safely return to work and to school.