As COVID-19 vaccinations have become more widely available, a debate is heating up over the push for vaccine verification in order for people to enter businesses or churches without a mask on.
On May 18, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced new mask guidelines for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, Gov. Kate Brown (D) is requiring that people show proof of their COVID shots either digitally or on paper.
State businesses may continue to ask all employees and customers to wear a mask rather than asking for verification.
The OHA said those fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask in most indoor settings, but only where vaccination status is checked.
Under the updated guidelines, businesses, employers, and faith institutions can determine their own mask use policies. They can choose to no longer require masks but must request that people show proof of vaccination.
But one conservative group is speaking out against the measure, arguing that the order is unconstitutional.
Freedom Foundation sent a letter to Gov. Brown demanding that she lift the vaccine status check requirement or face a lawsuit.
“The letter gives the Governor three options – rescind the order entirely, provide Oregonian’s data to justify why the guidance is necessary, or expect the matter to be resolved in court.”
And Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit religious rights law firm, said the mandate is a big step toward the loss of freedom.
“Digital health or vaccine passports along with tracking and tracing apps present a serious threat to freedom,” stated Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “Vaccine passports and tracking apps are about collecting data and control. COVID is being used to advance this dangerous threat to freedom. We must never accept vaccine passports or tracking apps as the new normal. If we do, it will be the end of freedom.”