SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory View Alerts

Gov. Brown: 'Science is clear' on bringing students back into classrooms safely

Governor Kate Brown said on Thursday that in-person learning has more than doubled since December, and 'most' Oregon elementary school students will be in classrooms by the end of April.

Posted: Feb 18, 2021 10:33 AM
Updated: Feb 18, 2021 10:39 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown said on Thursday that in-person learning has more than doubled since December, and "most" Oregon elementary school students will be in classrooms by the end of April.

“Eight weeks ago, I directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to put more schools on track to return students to in-person instruction, with a focus on our youngest learners," Governor Brown said in a statement. "Since then, thanks to the incredible work of our superintendents, school board members, educators, parents, and community members, Oregon has more than doubled the number of students learning in-person, to 116,749."

By March, Brown said, more districts plan to have elementary school students on hybrid instruction — including the state's second-largest district, Salem-Keizer, which includes more than 17,000 elementary students. Brown anticipated that most Oregon elementary students would be in classrooms again by the end of April.

“I am thrilled to see so many of Oregon’s school districts and teachers working hard to help return our children to the most effective learning environment: in-person, personalized education," Brown continued. "Now, middle and high school students must get the same chance, so that all students have the opportunity to benefit from in-person instruction, regardless of the community in which they live."


RELATED: Medford students return to the classroom


Brown said that the state is using $500 million in federal funding to bolster safety measures in schools and purchase PPE for students and staff. According to her, all educators who want the COVID-19 vaccine "will soon be fully vaccinated."

It's difficult to know for certain how many educators have already received at least their first doses. As of February 17, the state reported that 707,241 doses of a vaccine had been administered throughout the state, with 205,901 people fully vaccinated.

Members of Phase 1a were first to be eligible for the vaccine under Oregon's plan — a group estimated at roughly 400,000 people. Educators and childcare workers officially became eligible on January 25, and the group includes roughly 152,000 people.

“The science is clear: with proper health and safety protocols in place, there is very little risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools," Brown said, citing the latest CDC guidelines released last week. "As districts implement the more than 160 health and safety protocols outlined in Oregon’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, we can reopen our school buildings in a way that protects students, staff, and our communities."

“When I made my announcement in December, many thought in-person elementary was far beyond reach," Brown continued. "At the height of our winter surge, COVID-19 case counts were high and hospital capacity was threatened. Since then, thanks to the smart choices of Oregonians, our case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 have steadily declined, and even our largest school districts, including in the tri-county area, today meet or exceed Oregon’s advisory school metrics for hybrid in-person instruction.

“Our students only grow up once. We cannot let the school year end with the class of 2021 never having set foot in Oregon high schools. I know that some have had their doubts. But we can do this, by continuing to work together. It is within our power to provide every Oregon student the opportunity for in-person instruction this school year.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 34°
Brookings
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 34°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 30°
More valley and coastal fog overnight, weather pattern becomes more active next week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events