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Redmond School District outlines summer, fall COVID-19 plans: Masks required on buses, not in classes

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REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Redmond School District on Monday outlined its current COVID-19-related plans for both summer school and the coming school year, as latest state guidance leaves such decisions up to local school districts.

In late June, the Oregon Department of Education issued its draft Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance for the 2021-22 school year.

The new guidance allows local control over nearly all practices related to containing and preventing COVID-19 in our schools. The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education encourage school districts to balance the reopening of the state with a plan to keep students and staff safe.

Here’s the rest of the announcement on the Redmond School District’s plan for summer school and the 2021-22 school year.

"Please know that these plans could change at any time, depending on case counts and variants in our community, and dependent on federal or CDC guidance changes," the announcement said.

As of now, the Redmond School District will:

  • No longer require the use of face coverings and face shields by students or staff. Staff will not require face coverings in their classrooms, but the school district encourages all those who would like to wear a mask to do so.
  • Continue to require masks on school buses. The CDC order for mandatory use of face coverings on public transit applies to school buses until lifted by the federal government and cannot be waived by state or local authorities.
  • Continue to encourage eligible students and staff to get vaccinated. Vaccination remains the most powerful tool available to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Continue to practice 3-foot social distancing as much as possible, especially at the elementary level where most students are not yet eligible for vaccination. Teachers will be asked to maintain seating charts to assist with contact tracing.
  • Continue to encourage frequent handwashing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer for both students and staff.
  • Continue to use COVID-related methods of airflow in our HVAC systems, refreshing the air twice each day. During wildfire season, the district may consider limiting airflow.
  • Continue regular disinfecting and environmental cleaning of high-touch surfaces, but will not require teachers to clean desks in between each class.
  • Continue to isolate those who come to school with symptoms, and to quarantine those who have been exposed to a contagious student or staff member. This will require continued contact tracing.
  • Continue to offer optional on-site testing for any students and staff who are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Make decisions on a case-by-case basis regarding events and visitors in our schools.

Each year, the Oregon Health Authority publishes guidance on communicable diseases. Our district, like all public school districts, follows these guidelines, which determine how long students must stay home from school depending on their symptoms. The district will continue to follow this guidance, which we expect will be updated before the beginning of this school year.

The Redmond School District reminds parents to keep kids home from school if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. Staff should also stay home if they’re sick. Based on CDC and Oregon Health Authority guidance, quarantines for those exposed to COVID-19 will be 10 days, or 7 days with a negative PCR test on day 6 or 7 of quarantine.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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