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Jackson County misses mark to return to in-person learning

Today, the Oregon Department of Education and Governor Kate Brown announced new state metrics that will allow some counties in the state of Oregon to return to in-person learning. Jackson County did not make the list.

Posted: Oct 30, 2020 6:45 PM

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore--- Today the Oregon Department of Education and Governor Kate Brown announced new state metrics that will allow some counties in the state of Oregon to return to in-person learning. Jackson County did not make the list.

"I am sad to report that Jackson County schools continue to be in the red," said Bret Champion, the Superintendent for the Medford School District. " We are not able to come back. All we are able to do is take small groups of kids for two hours at a time in a very limited capacity."

With the new metrics, counties must have less than 50 cases per 100,000 people within a two week time frame and a positivity rate below five percent(the two are intertwined). 

Over the last two weeks, Jackson County has seen a large spike in new cases, reporting 177 new cases just last week, and more than 190 new cases this week. The county's positivity rate stands at 8.1%. 

"What we are seeing is students being negatively impact from decision making from adults," said Champion. "We have got to get to the point to where wearing a mask becomes a regular thing that we do. It's not an option, it's something that we need to do."

Jackson County is still at minimum two weeks away from reopening in-person learning, if the county's case and positivity rate drop, but both Medford and Central Point School Districts are optimistic about returning back to classes.

"I think that we can have hope that these metrics will allow us to bring kids back hopefully in the next few months," said Samantha Steele, who is the Superintendent for the Central Point School District.

Samantha said that when the county returns to in-person learning, they are full prepared to go back to in-person classes without using a hybrid method. Medford School District is taking a more conservative approach.

"One of the reasons we will probably need to be in some form of hybrid learning, even if we were able to jump to green, is logistical," said Champion. "Social distancing is going to be a huge factor when we bring kids back."

Both districts said that although they understand that online learning has been a solution for kids during the Covid-19 crisis, it can't replace the importance of learning in a classroom.

"It's not just about that in-person is more effective than distance learning,: said Steele. "Students just need to be with other kids and adults."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 219755

Reported Deaths: 2858
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41855618
Washington27838258
Marion24509333
Clackamas19964242
Lane14885174
Jackson12709156
Deschutes1056587
Umatilla958794
Linn627782
Yamhill507481
Klamath494479
Douglas451888
Polk431457
Josephine416975
Malheur366667
Benton347422
Jefferson249942
Coos231939
Columbia208732
Union169424
Wasco156131
Lincoln154422
Crook139924
Hood River126734
Morrow122917
Clatsop117610
Baker111517
Curry79112
Tillamook7605
Grant5637
Lake4868
Harney46011
Wallowa2396
Gilliam871
Sherman872
Wheeler441
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3966943

Reported Deaths: 64429
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles130334324691
Riverside3085464662
San Bernardino3067695240
San Diego2980023798
Orange2824265144
Santa Clara1234042099
Sacramento1157321781
Kern1132161425
Fresno1046391746
Alameda971211286
Ventura838691044
Contra Costa77708834
San Joaquin769151460
Stanislaus658931095
Tulare50409854
San Mateo44622588
Monterey44523528
San Francisco40544563
Solano36004263
Santa Barbara35741467
Merced33321485
Sonoma32880330
Imperial29164745
Placer25146307
Kings23765251
San Luis Obispo21970265
Madera17058249
Santa Cruz16616207
Marin14958239
Yolo14863215
Butte13235205
Shasta13043242
El Dorado11125120
Napa1044282
Sutter10203127
Yuba700450
San Benito628263
Tehama589266
Lassen588826
Nevada541675
Humboldt511453
Mendocino471052
Tuolumne453573
Lake423866
Amador387748
Siskiyou256640
Glenn246527
Colusa235718
Calaveras231658
Del Norte16688
Inyo147338
Mono13265
Plumas7726
Modoc5767
Mariposa5007
Trinity4676
Sierra1310
Alpine890
Unassigned660
Medford
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