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Crook County schools confident they can stay open — and stay safe

So far, the effort to meet state metrics is holding

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Crook County students in all grades have been back in classes for a week -- the first in the region -- but the future remains uncertain.

Many viewers have asked, what are the metrics necessary to remain open?

In Crook County, the number of new COVID-19 cases cannot exceed seven a week, for two weeks in a row.

The county has been successful in keeping the number of COVID-19 cases low, so far.

As things stood Monday, there have been 70 cases in Crook County, one death, and nearly 3,000 negative test results since the state began tracking the pandemic.

The metrics for staying in class changed once students went back to class. (That's also how Sisters has been able to keep K-3 students in class, despite a recent surge in Deschutes County cases.)

 Crook County case counts can’t exceed seven cases per week for two weeks in a row (the figure used to be three cases for three weeks in a row).

The weekly reporting period is Sunday through Saturday, so the five most recent cases keep the Crook County School District in the 'green zone.'

Some believe the metrics are solely based on cases within the schools, but as Crook County Schools Communication Director Jason Carr explained, that's not the case.

"It all comes down to what's happening in the county," Carr says. "So whether or not there are cases specifically in schools, we have to follow guidelines set in place by the state of Oregon."

To keep students in the building, Crook County schools are now promoting a campaign called 'Stay Safe, Stay Open.'

Carr says regardless of your political views, he and the rest of the district want what's best for the students.

"We're really just focused on the students," Carr said. "Whether you agree with the mask mandates or not, we're just asking folks to help us out, wear your mask -- especially on school property."

Carr says they want to keep their buildings open, and allow the students to compete in sports as well.

He says being the first district in Central Oregon to head back certainly puts them in the spotlight, but he remains confident that schools can stay safe.

Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Crook County / Education / Prineville / Top Stories
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.



    1. Stopped by the local grocery store in Prineville 3 days ago on my way to Mitchell. At least 4 people inside wearing their masks with their nose hanging out and a few people at the bottle return sans mask. You’re right, they ‘ain’t’ afraid.

  1. It is now time to once again- to bust out that “I Told Ya So Sweater” so we can all re-live bold and confident statements I made months ago… this time- the topic is “Lock-downs” ! The likes that have our Dictator in Salem declaring schools stay closed (not out in Prineville !)- businesses shuttered- stay home- go broke was the mantra of mine way back in May ! Sooooo now what ??? Well- it seems that the WHO has now declared that such global shutdowns have doubled poverty rates around the planet ! And we should cease and desist this practice immediately ! Good Gawd- here it is… ……………..

    “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said.” …………………. “Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”………… Ya think our Dictator in Salem will call of the dogs ??? Hell No ! She has you right where she wants you- on your way to economic ruin- and small town news outlets like KTVZ couldn’t be bothered… I guess she still won’t return their calls !!!! ………………..

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