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State releases updated guidance for school reopening

The new guidance takes effect immediately.

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 2:13 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2021 9:40 AM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Education has updated its guidance for school reopening on Tuesday.

Local school districts have had the power to decide when to return students to in-person learning since Jan. 1, but the updates to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guide reach beyond that to help districts make informed decisions.

Updated advisory metrics now allow for in-person classes for elementary students at higher levels of community case rates that previously recommended.

A new requirement is that when students and staff return to in-person instruction out of alignment with the metrics, they must provide on-site COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students and staff members and for those who have had a known exposure to a positive case.

State officials say there are multiple new resources to support learning outside, field trips, equitable grading practices, attendance best practices, contact tracing partnerships, COVID-19 testing and more.

“We are providing school leaders with the information they need to make local decisions about returning to in-person instruction,” said ODE Director Colt Gill. “We all know that in-person instruction provides our children and families with access to an equitable education. Schools are a center of services to students and families, offering nutritious meals, access to social-emotional and mental health supports, as well as physical health services. This guidance provides new resources to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and better meet students’ needs in this time.”

Two critical factors should guide districts, state officials say: community case counts and rates remaining low enough and the ability to implement health and safety protocols diligently.

The new guidance takes effect immediately.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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