Mar 5, 2021 - Health

Oregon governor orders all public schools to reopen by mid-April

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in 2016.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in 2016. Photo: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

All public K-12 schools in Oregon must offer in-person instruction by mid-April, Gov. Kate Brown (D) said Friday.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that K-12 schools could safely resume for in-person instruction and remain open if mitigation strategies are strictly adhered to and community transmission of the coronavirus remains low.

  • Oregon's average daily number of cases over the last week has been 305, down 19% from the average two weeks earlier, per The New York Times.
  • Brown's announcement comes nearly a year after she first ordered schools to close for in-person learning due to the pandemic.

Details: In a letter to the state's health authority and education department, Brown directed all Oregon public schools to offer universal access to in-person instruction on or before the week of March 29 for K-5 students and the week of April 19 for students in grades 6-12.

  • "Individual students or parents who want to remain in comprehensive distance learning, or who have health needs, may do so," Brown's office said in a news release.
  • "Comprehensive distance learning for all will be an option for school districts when community transmission rates of COVID-19 warrant a transition, as determined by state or local public health directives."

What she's saying: "Thanks to the smart choices Oregonians have made, our COVID-19 numbers have declined," Brown said.

  • “The science is very, very clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school," she added.

The big picture: More than 72% of K-12 students across the U.S. were attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning as of Feb. 28, per Axios' Marisa Fernandez.

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) issued an executive order on Wednesday requiring schools statewide to offer in-person classes by March 15.

Go deeper: More schools are reopening in the U.S.

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