Central Christian School fined nearly $11K for violating COVID mask rules


Central Christian School in Redmond has been fined nearly $11,000 for willfully violating the state’s indoor mask mandate, according to documents from Oregon-OSHA.

The inspection happened in October last year, several follow-up interviews ensued and the citation was issued on February 8th. 

According to the notice, employers “knowingly did not ensure and/or enforce that all staff and students located indoors at the school wore mask or face coverings.” 

“The lack of enforcement of mask and face-covering usage indoors exposed approximately 43 staff members to the known health hazard of COVID-19,” the document reads.

The Pre-K-12th grade private school was fined $10,500 for violating the mask mandate and $420 because “the exposure risk assessment did not involve participation and feedback from employees.”

School officials declined to comment. 

According to the Oregon-OSHA report, the inspector counted about 198 students in the school at the time and roughly 98% were either not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly. 

In the report, Central Christian Head of School Elisa Carlson had emailed parents before the beginning of the school year saying “we believe (wearing masks) is a decision parents should make for their children,” despite being aware of the OHA mask mandate for schools. 

She told parents the school had worked with legal counsel to determine two paths to skirt the mandate: a medical exemption and a “sincerely held religious belief.”

In subsequent interviews with the state compliance officer, Carlson “admitted she knew that the religious exemption was not in line with OHA guidance,” but parents were going to send their kids to school without masks because it was their choice.

The school is one of several Central Oregon businesses that have been fined for similar COVID-rules violations over the last couple of years. 

You can read the full Oregon-OSHA report below.

Note: Per Oregon OSHA, the original inspection report misidentified the attorney. The agency is in the process of amending the report to reflect the correction.

He is misidentified in the report.





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