On February 28, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced that the statewide and K-12 indoor face-covering rule would be lifted beginning Saturday, March 12, 2022.
On March 2, an updated Ready Schools Safe Learners Resiliency Framework was released by OHA and ODE that will go into effect at the same time that the face-covering rule is lifted. A School Health Advisory for Continuity of Instruction was also released on March 2. We learned that contact tracing and quarantine will be paused for the general population in Oregon, including K-12 and early learning settings, beginning March 12, 2022, as well.
Quarantine is for people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but do not have symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test result. Those who have COVID-19 should still isolate for at least five days from the onset of symptoms or a positive test, and it is strongly recommended they continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for days 6-10 following the onset of symptoms or a positive test.
At a meeting with representatives from the Baker County Health Department today, Baker School District leadership decided that face coverings will also become optional in District schools and on District school buses starting Monday, March 14, 2022, the first school day following the lifting of the statewide mandate. Further, Baker County Health Department plans to pause contact tracing and quarantine for the general population, including District schools, beginning March 12, 2022.
Baker School District will be following OHA and ODE’s Symptom-Based Exclusion Guidelines and continuing to ask that those who show symptoms of illness stay home. Health screenings will continue to take place when students arrive at school, and families will be notified if the District learns of a positive COVID-19 case that could have exposed their child. Despite being optional, the District will continue to provide masks for those who choose to wear one and will continue to provide COVID-19 testing options to support students and staff. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols will also continue.
“We encourage families who have concerns to contact their schools,” said Superintendent Mark Witty. “We remain committed to stricter health and safety protocols around medically vulnerable students and support anyone who still wishes to wear a face-covering once they become optional on March 14.”