Dear CSD Families,
Yesterday, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released updates to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework, effective March 12th, that provides COVID-19 response guidance to districts across the state. ODE also shared a new March/April School Health Advisory. As part of these updates, the new Resiliency Framework includes details about OHA’s lifting of face covering requirements for indoor public spaces and safety protocols for quarantine, contact tracing, and testing for schools to meet the current conditions of the pandemic. Some of the key points included in the new revisions are listed below. In response to the new guidelines, CSD administrators and staff will be processing these changes and developing implementation plans for the new safety procedures.
As has been our course throughout the pandemic, the expertise and requirements shared by public health and education experts will guide our COVID-19 response. In addition to CDC, OHA, and ODE requirements, we are consulting with state and local public health authorities, examining COVID-19 transmission models and attendance data, and requesting feedback from our stakeholders to determine our community’s comfort level regarding universal vs. optional masking in schools. If you haven’t yet responded to the face covering survey, please share your input here: English / Spanish. Responses will be received through midnight Sunday and a decision regarding face coverings in CSD schools will be shared early next week. Thank you for providing your feedback!
Just as we have navigated the prior changes the pandemic has brought, we will work through this new phase of the pandemic together while focusing on keeping our community and students safe and learning in-person.
Again, thank you for your input and continued partnership. More information will be forthcoming from OHA and ODE in the coming weeks and I will update you as I receive details.
Key points from RSSL updates:
- Based on updated guidance from the CDC, Oregon will pause contact tracing for the general population, including K-12 settings. Because Omicron spreads so quickly, by the time a COVID exposure is identified and contact tracing is performed, transmission has already occurred. In lieu of contact tracing, schools are encouraged to provide cohort notifications when exposures occur. These notifications allow individuals and families to take additional precautions according to their individual needs.
- Students and staff will not be required to quarantine when they are exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, if they are asymptomatic. They should continue to monitor closely for symptoms.
- Students and staff who test positive for COVID or who become symptomatic after an exposure will continue to be expected to isolate for at least 5 days, with day 0 being the first day of symptoms or test date.
- Diagnostic COVID-19 testing when students and staff are exposed to a positive case of COVID or are experiencing symptoms will continue to be offered.