SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory View Alerts

Gov. Brown: Officials revisiting school COVID-19 metrics, but rising spread presents a problem

The state is reviewing metrics that determine whether students can return with in-person learning, Governor Brown said on Wednesday — but rising cases are complicating the process.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 5:11 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 5:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Despite efforts to re-examine Oregon's coronavirus metrics for schools, a statement from Governor Kate Brown on Wednesday indicated that increasing community spread in many counties will continue to prevent a return to in-person classes.

Brown said that her Healthy Schools Reopening Council had met on Wednesday to review the steps Oregon can take to return more students to in-person instruction, now that there is burgeoning data from other areas of the country. Oregon's original metrics were released back in July.

However, even if those metrics are tweaked, Brown stressed that most students in Oregon would remain on distance learning with COVID-19 case rates at current levels.

“In order to get our kids back into the classroom, we need concerted, community-wide efforts to drive down COVID-19 case rates––by wearing face coverings, watching our physical distance, washing our hands, and forgoing large social gatherings,” said Governor Brown. “It’s on all of us to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, so we can open schools and keep them open safely."

Oregon continues to exceed the statewide metric of 5 percent test positivity, with the Oregon Health Authority reporting a positivity rate of 6.5 percent last week despite a slight decline in case numbers from the week prior.


RELATED: Oregon Health Authority further expands face covering requirements with update


According to Brown's office, only two counties currently meet Oregon's metrics for in-person learning at all grade levels. Seven counties meet the metric for K-3 in-person learning — down from 20 counties at the beginning of the school year. About 45,000 students currently receive at least some in-person instruction in Oregon schools, according to Oregon Department of Education figures.

Wednesday's meeting identified three main "areas of work," Brown's office said — reviewing state metrics to reflect the latest data and best practices from other states, making sure that schools are prepared for a safe return to in-person learning, and driving down community spread of COVID-19.

Brown acknowledged that schools provide more than just learning to Oregon students, and that distance learning has had a disparate impact on many families, particularly in communities of color.

"Distance learning is exponentially more difficult for parents who can’t stay home, because they work in essential sectors like the service industry, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. Not every home in every county has reliable access to broadband or learning devices for all children," Brown said. "And, unfortunately, too many students do not have a stable place to call home. These are the kids who need in-person instruction the most. The kids for whom a smile in the classroom or a helping hand in the lunchroom means everything.”

Brown's statement on Wednesday did not provide a timeline for when state metrics could see changes, or what those changes might look like.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 74119

Reported Deaths: 905
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah17242236
Washington10347101
Marion9207140
Clackamas616077
Umatilla434349
Lane430942
Jackson382531
Malheur240644
Deschutes236815
Yamhill172916
Linn142423
Polk125016
Douglas93018
Klamath8724
Jefferson83411
Benton7917
Union7826
Morrow6587
Lincoln62215
Josephine5374
Wasco53019
Columbia5063
Coos4253
Hood River4011
Clatsop3600
Baker2813
Crook2296
Curry1352
Grant1341
Lake1321
Tillamook1310
Harney991
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1215455

Reported Deaths: 19151
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3958437639
San Bernardino930191129
Riverside868541437
San Diego81084997
Orange778191577
Kern41328448
Fresno38288481
Sacramento36905576
Santa Clara34292476
Alameda29476512
San Joaquin25742502
Contra Costa23895261
Stanislaus21714424
Tulare20701308
Ventura19510175
Imperial16019356
San Francisco15450160
Monterey15328121
San Mateo14148170
Sonoma12198157
Merced11688179
Santa Barbara11481135
Kings1109387
Solano1025281
Marin7755129
Placer649768
San Luis Obispo612936
Madera611985
Shasta488247
Yolo482776
Santa Cruz442628
Butte389459
Sutter333216
Napa303317
El Dorado24154
Yuba203610
San Benito188016
Lassen17733
Tehama167825
Mendocino145823
Nevada12729
Tuolumne9818
Glenn9258
Lake92019
Humboldt8509
Colusa7116
Siskiyou6242
Amador56316
Mono5483
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3281
Inyo29016
Plumas2150
Trinity1580
Mariposa1312
Modoc1310
Alpine500
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Medford
Overcast
38° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 38°
Brookings
Scattered Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 51°
Crater Lake
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 38°
Grants Pass
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
Klamath Falls
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 38°
Showery & cool Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, November 30 afternoon weather

Image

Health Alert: importance of wearing masks

Image

Monday, November 30 morning weather

Image

Sunday, November 29 evening weather

Image

Sunday, November 29 morning weather

Image

SOU Football Preview: Wide Receivers

Image

Oregon State defeats No. 15 Oregon in 124th meeting

Image

Saturday, November 28 evening weather

Image

Saturday, November 28 morning weather

Image

Friday, November 27th Evening Weather