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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: 75431

Reported Deaths: 912
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah17556239
Washington10554102
Marion9370142
Clackamas639577
Umatilla438449
Lane436843
Jackson387931
Deschutes242215
Malheur240844
Yamhill175616
Linn144023
Polk127516
Douglas96118
Klamath8734
Jefferson84311
Benton8007
Union7886
Morrow6597
Lincoln62515
Josephine5574
Wasco53219
Columbia5203
Coos4303
Hood River4021
Clatsop3610
Baker2833
Crook2336
Curry1372
Grant1341
Lake1331
Tillamook1330
Harney1001
Wallowa713
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1230264

Reported Deaths: 19173
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles4009197655
San Bernardino936711129
Riverside873831437
San Diego82043997
Orange785531577
Kern41827448
Fresno38568481
Sacramento37415576
Santa Clara35085476
Alameda29918512
San Joaquin25740502
Contra Costa24275261
Stanislaus22162426
Tulare20793308
Ventura19952175
Imperial16272356
Monterey15621122
San Francisco15571160
San Mateo14458170
Sonoma12319157
Merced11773179
Santa Barbara11520135
Kings1127087
Solano1064881
Marin7777129
Placer662270
Madera629085
San Luis Obispo614536
Shasta496347
Yolo489377
Santa Cruz449028
Butte400859
Sutter333216
Napa309017
El Dorado24474
Yuba203610
San Benito189316
Lassen17933
Tehama171025
Mendocino158023
Nevada13119
Tuolumne10358
Glenn9518
Lake92719
Humboldt8989
Colusa7236
Siskiyou6242
Amador59016
Mono5483
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3391
Inyo29016
Plumas2150
Trinity1590
Modoc1430
Mariposa1392
Alpine500
Sierra190
Unassigned00
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