Last week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) had two substantive updates to share with schools.
The first was a change to the K-12 face covering rule (OAR 333-019-1015). This update revised the statewide outdoor face covering requirements.
The revisions have removed the outdoor face covering requirement for K-12 settings. This will mostly effect district athletics and other organizations that use district facilities for outside events, such as TSP sports and the upcoming tree lighting.
While individual schools/districts may continue to require students and staff to wear face coverings during outdoor activities, here in FRSD we will continue to operate as we have since the beginning of the pandemic. That is to say we will follow all mandates, administrative rules and other public health recommendations, but not go above and beyond the requirements absent some specific local metric or need to do so (such as case rates).
The second change was to reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days for students and staff that are close contacts.
Lane County Public Health is also looking at adopting a new “test to stay” option that is being recommended as an additional mitigation layer that will allow unvaccinated students and staff to maximize days spent in school learning. As soon as this becomes an option we will share more information here. This “test to stay option” is only allowed for close contacts who were exposed in a school setting. It is not allowed for exposures outside of school, or during athletics. This process could/would allow unvaccinated asymptomatic individuals who were exposed, to be tested twice during the 7 days following the exposure, and NOT have to quarantine.