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Updated advisory metrics and what they mean for SPS

The Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority, on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 19) released updated guidance on when and how districts can safely transition to in-person learning. This information includes an updated shift in metrics for how districts assess community spread of COVID-19 and its impact on face-to-face learning.

The updated metrics were established based on several different research studies and data from the Centers for Disease Control and other sources. Such research found that when school communities properly implement and utilize adequate health and safety measures - such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and proper hand hygiene -  that transmission of COVID-19 is low, even in school settings. 

OHA has seen very few school outbreaks so far in Oregon; none large. As of December 3, 2020, 139 schools had reported at least one COVID-19 case in a student or staff member. Of these, 77 schools have had only one case.

Springfield Public Schools has utilized science-based research and data provided by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education for the duration of the pandemic and will continue to do so. 

By the numbers - When can students return to school? 

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS 

The updated metrics released Jan. 19 allow for elementary students to return to some in-person/hybrid learning under the following circumstances: 

  • Fewer than 350 positive cases per 100,000 over the course of 14 days  
  • A less than 10 percent COVID-19 case positivity rate in the same timeframe

MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS 

The updated metrics released Jan. 19 allow for middle/high students to return to limited in-person/hybrid learning under the following circumstances: 

  • Fewer than 200 positive cases per 100,000 over the course of 14 days  
  • A less than 10 percent COVID-19 case positivity rate in the same timeframe
  • A successful rollout of younger grades with limited COVID-19 transmission

ALL STUDENTS

The updated metrics released Jan. 19 allow for all students to return to limited in-person/hybrid learning under the following circumstances: 

  • Fewer than 50 positive cases per 100,000 over the course of 14 days  
  • A less than 5 percent COVID-19 case positivity rate in the same timeframe
  • A successful rollout of younger grades with limited COVID-19 transmission
  • Still maintaining small cohorts of students 

As of Feb. 27, Lane County was categorized in the “extreme” risk category, with 112.4 positive cases per 100,000 people and a 1.8 percent case positivity rate.

covid metrics