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Oregon is telling workplaces, businesses and places of worship that mask-less people can now enter such establishments, but only with proof of a full COVID-19 vaccine.

The Oregon Health Authority announced the order Wednesday, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently loosening guidance on mask wearing, as virus infection and death rates drop across the country.

The agency says such establishments now have the “option” to adjust their masking guidance to allow fully vaccinated people  to no longer wear a mask in their establishments. However, in doing so such establishments “must have a policy in place to check the vaccination status of all individuals before they enter their establishment.”

Furthermore, such establishments that do not create such policies “will maintain the same masking guidance listed below, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status,” the agency also said.

The statewide policy is the first of its kind in the country, according to the Epoch Times newspaper. 

The policy is also raising concerns about those who don’t want to get vaccinated over such concerns as side effects, efficacy, and only Food and Drug Administration emergency-use approval for the shots.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues having so-called “vaccine passport systems” will create two tiers of unvaccinated and vaccinated people.

A spokesperson for business group Oregon Business and Industry, Nathaniel Brown, told the New York Times the group has “serious concerns about the practicality of requiring business owners and workers to be the enforcer.”

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last weekend that local governments, not the federal government, will be driving “vaccine mandates.”

“We’re not counting on vaccine mandates at all. It may very well be that local businesses, local jurisdictions will work toward vaccine mandates. That is going to be locally driven and not federally driven,” Walensky told NBC.

New York is considering a similar passport – the Excelsior Pass – that local governments are considering requiring for sports events, weddings and businesses, the newspaper also reports.

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Coronavirus

Breaking, Supermarket Cashier Killed, Deputy Wounded in Georgia Over Mask-Wearing Dispute

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A supermarket cashier in Georgia was shot and killed by a customer on Monday in a dispute over the wearing of a face mask before the gunman was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with the store’s security guard, the local sheriff said.

The guard was also wounded in the incident which occurred at a little after 1 p.m. at the Big Bear Supermarket in DeKalb County, DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox told a news conference.

“It was over a mask. I don’t know if they were wearing, or not wearing,” she said. “The wearing of the mask and not wearing of the mask, people have their own opinion about it and it is very sensitive at this time.”

A MAN OPENED FIRE MONDAY ON A CASHIER AT A SUPERMARKET IN DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA, AFTER AN ARGUMENT ABOUT MASKS, KILLING THE WOMAN AND INJURING A DEKALB COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE RESERVE UNIT DEPUTY WHO RETURNED FIRE HTTPS://T.CO/DH2WS15DDW

— THE DAILY BEAST (@THEDAILYBEAST) JUNE 14, 2021

Several people were inside the store when a confrontation over mask wearing ensued. The gunman pulled out a weapon and shot the cashier. The security guard the opened fire on him, striking him a couple of times, Maddox said.

Businesses in Georgia can request customers wear a mask to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but are prohibited from requiring them to do so, according to executive orders issued by Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

Maddox did not release the names of the individuals involved in the shooting. She said all three were rushed to the hospital, where the guard remains in stable condition after he was shot twice.

The security guard is a retired 30-year veteran of the DeKalb County Police Department who is now a reserve deputy with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. The guard, who works part-time at the supermarket, was wearing a protective vest, Maddox said.

A CASHIER WAS KILLED AND BOTH THE SUSPECT AND A DEPUTY WERE WOUNDED IN A SHOOTING WHICH STARTED WITH A DISPUTE OVER A MASK AT A GEORGIA GROCERY STORE. HTTPS://T.CO/7S7KTN6PK1

— WSPA 7NEWS (@WSPA7) JUNE 14, 2021

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Trump praises his own ‘great and very productive meeting in Helsinki’ ahead of Biden-Putin meeting

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Former President Donald Trump issued a statement on Thursday in which he said that the U.S. had secured the respect of Russian President Vladimir Putin as the result of a meeting that he had with the Russian leader in 2018.

“As President, I had a great and very productive meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with President Putin of Russia. Despite the belated Fake News portrayal of the meeting, the United States won much, including the respect of President Putin and Russia. Because of the phony Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax, made-up and paid for by the Democrats and Crooked Hillary Clinton, the United States was put at a disadvantage—a disadvantage that was nevertheless overcome by me,” Trump said. “As to who do I trust, they asked, Russia or our “Intelligence” from the Obama era, meaning people like Comey, McCabe, the two lovers, Brennan, Clapper, and numerous other sleezebags, or Russia, the answer, after all that has been found out and written, should be obvious. Our government has rarely had such lowlifes as these working for it. Good luck to Biden in dealing with President Putin—don’t fall asleep during the meeting, and please give him my warmest regards!”

Trump’s comments came as Biden, who is currently overseas during his first foreign trip since being inaugurated earlier this year, is slated to meet with Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.

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CDC issues new travel guidance on various countries as the world contends with the COVID-19 pandemic

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated international travel recommendations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has roiled the globe for more than a year.

“Primary and secondary criteria used to determine Travel Health Notice (THN) levels were updated to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, COVID-19 spread,” according to the CDC. “This update gives specific travel advice for vaccinated and unvaccinated people according to the THN level, ensuring THN levels reflect the current global situation and are aligned with guidance for international travel.”

The four levels of CDC rankings range from low COVID-19 levels up to very high, with an additional category for unknown risk level: “CDC uses COVID-19 data reported by the World Health Organization and other official sources to make determinations about THN levels. If a destination does not provide data, their THN level is designated as ‘unknown’ and travelers are advised to follow THN Level 4 recommendations,” the agency noted.

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