Omicron response
January 4, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education issued a School Health Advisory on January 3 that will remain in effect through January 31, unless otherwise updated. This advisory is designed to prioritize safety protocols needed to continue with full-time, in-person learning for all students. Current modeling from OHSU shows that Oregon will likely experience a significant COVID-19 surge, driven by the Omicron variant, beginning in January and continuing through February. This surge is expected to be much steeper than the Delta variant surge with impacts on workforce stability in schools, hospitals, and other sectors.

We need your help to maintain in-person instruction.  When community spread increases, more COVID-19 is introduced in our schools and causes disruption of in-person learning due to quarantine and isolation. Here is how you can help:

  • If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, do not send them to school. Seek a COVID-19 test. COVID-19 symptoms can be found on page 9 of the Planning for COVID-19 Scenarios in Schools A Toolkit for School Leaders and Local Public Health Authorities.
  • Consider getting vaccinated or a booster if already vaccinated. Vaccination can provide protection against serious illness from COVID-19 and reduces the spread of the disease. Click here to find out where to get vaccinated in Jackson County.
  • Follow the indoor masking guidelines and layered mitigation safety protocols.
  • If you are visiting people from another household, consider wearing a mask, maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, and keep activities outdoors as much as possible.

You may be aware that the CDC made changes to the recommended quarantine and isolation guidance for exposed individuals. OHA officials are consulting with the CDC on what these changes mean for schools. More information will be forthcoming on the CDC’s changes.

Extracurricular Activities

We will continue participating in extracurricular activities and those students who choose to participate will follow the same layered mitigation safety protocols practiced during the school day (use of face coverings, screening and diagnostic testing, frequent handwashing, etc.). The ODE and OHA have advised that as activities move indoors and individuals are unmasked, there is a high likelihood of rapid transmission of COVID-19 that may prevent students from participating in in-person learning due to isolation for those that contract COVID-19 and lengthy quarantines for those that come into close contact with infected individuals.

Reminder that face coverings are required for all attending extracurricular activities (other than student-athletes actively taking part in a practice or game as well as officials) regardless of vaccination status. We need the help of those who attend events to be great partners by wearing face coverings while indoors.

Thank you,

Walt Davenport