A student at East Primary School in Sutherlin tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from Sutherlin School District Superintendent Terry Prestianni.

It is the second time a positive COVID-19 test has been linked to the school. Two other people were presumed positive but tested negative.

The school district started notifying staff and parents of children in the same cohort on Nov. 1 and asked them to quarantine for 14 days and monitor symptoms.

“We will continue to follow and maintain the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education guidelines; namely practicing handwashing, physical distancing to the degree we can, requiring people wear masks inside the building, and upholding cleaning and disinfecting protocols,” Prestianni said. “We understand families are concerned. We will keep families and the school community updated with any new information as it becomes available, while meeting the requirements to honor everyone’s right to privacy.”

In total, the Oregon Health Authority reported that Douglas County had 70 cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or 62.4 cases per 100,000 people. The county’s test positivity percentage in the preceding two weeks was 4.5%, according to the state health authority.

The case rate has continued to climb in Douglas County since Oct. 4.

Under new state guidelines released Friday, schools could open to all in-person instruction if there are less than 50 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period and the test positivity rate is below 5%.

Douglas County schools that have not yet fully reopened are able to bring elementary school students back to campus under the current guidance. Middle and high schools would be able to come back if elementary schools can demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in the school environment.

The state clarifies that a measure for limited transmission local public health authorities should consider would be an outbreak of 3 or fewer people, excluding outbreaks of only one case, for the previous four weeks.

Many Douglas County schools are already open to in-person instruction for all grades, as the county previously met the state health metrics, and had not met the metrics to close schools.

Statewide, the overall case count is nearly 140 per 100,000 people.

Under the newly released guidance schools would need to return to distance learning if there are more than 200 cases per 100,000 people or the test positivity percentage is above 10%.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

React to this story:


(2) comments


It would be nice to have a daily comment reporting how the situation looks from day to day, but I think the best one can hope for is an official report on school metrics once a week. Although the state reports daily cases and deaths, it does not do a running rate calculation from day to day. Rather they have a morbidity week. This is standard practice. The CDC does a morbidity and mortality weekly report on various conditions. It's a gold mine of info.


Oregon Department of Education issued its NEW school metrics (below link) yesterday meant to make it easier for schools in Oregon to re-open on-site instruction. The two metrics Douglas County (not the state) must achieve for K-12 schools to have on-site or hybrid instructional teaching are:

1. Case rate <50.0 cases per 100,000 population in the preceding 14 days.

2. Test positivity <5.0% in the preceding 14 days.

Everyone should be demanding our County Commissioners include a daily update of each of these two metrics on their daily press release from the Commissioner’s Coronavirus Response Team, just like they do with the number of cases and hospitalizations. Currently, Douglas County exceeds both of these metrics.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.