Superintendent’s Message – March 2nd, 2022
Face Coverings Optional Beginning March 12, 2022
Earlier, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced that the indoor mask mandate for schools would lift on March 31, and then adjusted that to March 19. This week, Governor Brown announced that the face covering mandate would lift March 12. These changes are in response to the significant and rapid decline in COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates.
With the termination of the indoor mask mandate, Corbett School District will make face coverings in schools and on buses optional beginning next Saturday, March 12. We still recommend face coverings for individuals who are immunocompromised or otherwise medically at-risk.
Declining impact. This week, out of 1066 students and 113 staff members, we have one student who is isolated after testing positive and one whose family is keeping them home due to a possible family exposure. That is 0.17% of our school population. Hospitalization rates are approaching pre-variant levels and declining rapidly. The new CDC guidelines list Multnomah County as “Recommend that immunocompromised and other at-risk individuals consider masking” and heading rapidly towards “No recommendations.”
Our Board of Trustees resolved last year that we would follow all requirements lawfully issued, and that the extent to which we would follow recommendations would be up to our Health Team. Universal indoor masking will no longer be a requirement, and is not a recommendation of CDC. Our Health Team has met regularly throughout the pandemic, and had a summit meeting today to consider this optional face coverings issue. The team was unanimous in supporting making masks optional.
Yes, cohorts will still be notified if there was a known positive in their cohort.
No, the requirement for ALL staff and volunteers to be vaccinated or have an approved religious/medical exemption with accommodations in place will not change.
Yes, the requirements for contract tracing will be dropped.
No, exposed individuals who are asymptomatic will not be required to quarantine.
Yes, positive or symptomatic individuals will still need to isolate Days 1-5 (with the day of symptom onset being Day 0).
No, Physical Distancing will not be required (but still recommended to the extent “practicable”).
Yes, we can still antigen test students and staff who may have been exposed (if they have a permission slip on file if under 18).
Please respect other families’ choice as you would want them to respect your choice. We will have a banner and poster campaign in this regard, and will have age-appropriate writing prompts and conversation starters developed by our mental health professionals.
We know that major change can be emotionally challenging for some students; please remember that we have school counselors and a school psychologist available.
As parents, you know that any major change, especially one that may be as charged with opinion and emotion as this one, can lead to an escalation of child misbehaviors. We also know that if we provide a calm, positive role model through our own behavior, our children will reflect that.
Our staff will not be expected to keep track of which of their 25-150 students’ families have made, and changed, their decision to mask, to unmask, to mask indoors but not out, to mask on the bus but not at school, etc. Please do not ask them to track and enforce your decision.
Dan Wold; Interim Superintendent
Additional COVID-19 Resources:
Archived COVID-19 Resources:
Reopening Blueprint Amendment – April 20, 2021