PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to two media outlets.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a spreadsheet sent to them and the Statesman Journal was supposed to contain the latest vaccination rates and vaccine exemption rates for each executive branch agency overseen by Gov. Kate Brown.
Brown issued an executive order in August requiring all executive branch employees — along with individuals working in educational and health care settings — to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Monday at midnight.
Instead, Oregon Department of Administrative Services External Relations Director Adam Crawford emailed a file to the outlets Monday containing vaccination status by employee name.
Crawford took the blame for the data release and asked that the personal information not be reported. “It’s a mistake on my part,” he said.
Ben Morris, a spokesperson for SEIU 503, said the release of information violates an agreement the union signed with the state which required individuals’ vaccination information to be confidential.
Morris said that “more concerning is that one of the main things that we heard from members who were vaccine hesitant is they were concerned about their privacy in this situation.”
Morris said the union is deciding how to respond.
The newspapers said they will not publish the full dataset.
According to the data, more than 90% of eligible employees in the state’s executive branch are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received an approved religious or medical exception.