SALEM, OR -- The Oregon Health Authority reports COVID-19-related hospitalizations are down, and daily reported case counts continue to decline. It’s good news for schools preparing for the first somewhat normal back-to-school we’ve seen since 2019.
Director of Oregon’s Department of Education Colt Gill says there are no plans to impose statewide mandates, "This year, nearly all health and safety protocols will be locally determined, with district leaders partnering with local health authorities to make decisions about how to implement health and safety protocols to keep schools open by keeping staff and students healthy."
He says they'll do that thanks, in part, to steps taken last year to upgrade ventilation, provide access to testing and implement universal masking as needed, "They’ll continue to have those tools this year. So, through those kinds of variants and surges, I’m really confident in our local school leadership and our local public health authority leadership to manage and help maintain in-person instruction for our students. We think that’s really important; it’s what they need right now."
Parents are encouraged to get kids vaccinated; although, the Oregon Health Authority does not expect the COVID vaccine to be added to the list of required shots for students any time soon.