Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek today announced that all committee meetings during the upcoming 2022 Legislative Session will be conducted virtually. The decision was made based on input from infectious disease doctors from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and public health experts amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We are committed to ensuring the legislative process is accessible and safe during the upcoming session,” Courtney and Kotek said in a joint statement. “The recent wave of cases and hospitalizations due to the Omicron variant is concerning. After conversations with OHSU infectious disease doctors, we decided to move our committees to a virtual format.”
The public will continue to be able to enter the Capitol building during regular business hours. The Presiding Officers are directing all employees who can work remotely to do so during the session to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the building.
Committee meetings will be livestreamed on the Oregon Legislative Information Site during the upcoming session, which begins February 1. Oregonians are encouraged to make their voices heard on issues they care about by submitting written testimony, or by signing up for video or phone testimony.
All individuals within the building must comply with public health guidance, including wearing a face mask, and are encouraged to follow best practices such as staying home when sick, maintaining six feet of physical distance, and avoiding large gatherings to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Due to the ongoing Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance and Safety project, certain areas in and around the Capitol are under active construction, including the front steps and State Street entrances. Visitors can use the North ADA entrances to enter the building. Seismic upgrades in the House and Senate wings have been completed and these areas will be open to the public during the February session.
Source: Oregon Legislature