Just on the heels of seemingly the whole country shutting down right now, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced late evening on March 12, 2020 that all public schools K-12 in the state of Oregon will be closed Monday through the end of March. The school closure comes just after the governor’s decision to ban public gatherings of more than 250 people for four weeks.
With the Oregon Health Authority reporting three new cases of COVID-19 Thursday afternoon, the total number of confirmed cases now is at 24, across nine counties.
“I want to be very clear: sending Oregon children home will not stop the spread of the coronavirus,” Brown said in a statement. “While children are home, when at all possible, they should not be in the care of older adults or those with underlying health issues that are most at-risk from COVID-19.”
According to Brown, superintendents, teachers, parents and school board members who said they were struggling to operate in the wake of staff shortages and student absences prompted the closure. Those teachers in the school system over the age of 60 with underlying medical issues also voiced concerns.
While schools are closed, the governor is calling on school districts to develop plans to operate schools when students return on Wednesday, April 1. School districts should also use the time to ensure they have adequate cleaning supplies for increased cleaning protocols, according to her release.
A press conference is schedule for Friday morning to answer more questions about the closures.