New metrics also offer new hope for in-person classes for older students soon
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Thanks to improving COVID-19 metrics, parents and teachers in the Crook County School District will be celebrating the return of students to the classrooms on Tuesday, Sept. 8, officials announced Monday afternoon.
The Oregon Health Authority released the updated metrics Monday afternoon, and Crook County met the exception for K-3 and small, rural schools for a fourth straight week.
“We are excited to finally open up our classrooms," Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said. "Our staff and students are the lifeblood of our buildings, and we’ve missed that energy. This is an exciting day that gives us hope for the upcoming school year.”
Cases are declining across the state, officials noted, and could mean a return for 4th - 12th grade students as well. The state’s test positivity rate dropped to 4.4% last week, which is below the target of 5% for all students to return to the classrooms.
The state also corrected the metrics downward from the week of August 16 to 5%. That means if the state’s test positivity rate stays below 5% for one more week, the Crook County School District could begin the process of bringing all students back.
“We’re basically one week away from meeting the local and state metrics for all of our students to return," Johnson said ."K-3 is happening for sure, so we’ll be watching the data closely. If we meet the metrics next week, we’ll communicate with our families and set a target day for the rest of our students to return.”
The Crook County School District said it is coordinating closely with the county's Health Department. Ensuring students can return and stay in the classrooms will remain a community effort, the district said.
“It’s extremely important that people continue with safety precautions in the community. Wearing face coverings, maintaining distance, and washing hands are things we can all do to keep our kids in school,” explained Katie Plumb, deputy director of the Crook County Health Department.
The state exceptions also allow for small and rural schools to open, which include Brothers, Paulina, and Pioneer Alternative High School. All schools will open Sept. 8.
Crook County Health Department COVID-19 Trends
- There are 55 total cases reported in Crook County as of 8/31/2020.
- New case numbers have decreased over the past month.
- Height of new cases was the week of 7/26-8/1 with 10 new cases
- Last week – 8/23-8/29 – there was 1 new case
- The majority of Crook County cases are among ages 20 to 39 years old.
- Crook County has had 5 cases among those 19 years or younger.
- Approximately 32% of Crook County cases are associated with recent domestic or international travel.
- The majority of Crook County cases have been able to be traced to known sources, and cases have typically been clustered within social, work, or family groups.[i]