An increase in COVID-19 case rates has led Roseburg Public Schools to delay the Nov. 16 return to in-person learning for fourth and fifth graders in the district, the district announced Tuesday.

The delay to a new target date of Dec. 7 comes as newly released state metrics Monday moves Douglas County schools closer to being forced to return to distance learning.

“This is definitely not the trend we wanted to see happening in our County,” read the daily update from the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team on Monday. “The exponential growth in unrelated cases is affecting a wide number of schools, care centers and workplaces in all parts of the county. We can’t even begin to estimate the economic and loss of school/work impact to households, schools, families, and workplaces with the number of people in isolation and quarantine right now.”

Oregon Health Authority released the latest data Monday, which showed Douglas County had 108.7 cases per 100,000 people during the two-week period ending on Nov. 7 and the test positivity rating during that time was 9.1%.

In a letter from Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon, the district said the return to in-person learning will depend on the district meeting the threshold for COVID-19 metrics (50 to 100 cases per 100,000.) The district plans to cautiously maintain K-3 learning at all schools and continue remote learning for all middle school and high school grades through Jan. 22.

This means Douglas County schools are now in the Transition model described in the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. Under the Transition model, schools will need to consider transitioning to distance learning and consult with their local health authority.

Under the state guidance released on Oct. 30, there are four different models counties can fall under when it comes to reopening schools; On-Site, On-Site and Distance Learning, Transition, and Distance Learning.

Douglas County met the metrics for the On-Site and Distance Learning model for the past three consecutive weeks. In that particular model, schools can bring elementary school students — up to sixth grade — back to school.

Roseburg Public Schools is planning to bring fourth and fifth graders back to in-person learning on Nov. 16. The school district can continue with that plan, because under the state metrics, a school has two weeks from meeting the metrics to plan for the return of students.

If the county had remained in the On-Site and Distance Learning model and schools were able to limit the transmission of COVID-19 for four weeks, middle and high schoolers could have been brought back into the classroom as well. Under the Transition model, schools will not be able to start in-person learning for middle and high schoolers.

If the county case rate goes down, to between 50-99 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period, middle and high school students could be brought back on Dec. 14. If the case rate drops to less than 50 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period, all students will be able to attend school in-person.

Most schools in Douglas County are currently offering in-person, on-site instruction to all students.

If the county case rate goes up to more than 200 cases per 100,000 people or the test positivity rate increase to 10% for a two-week period, most schools will need to implement distance learning. There are a few exceptions to this, such as small remote schools and limited instruction for special groups of students.

The test positivity in Douglas County had been under 5% for months, but spiked to 9.1% for the latest two-week period according to the health department.

Douglas County spokesperson Tamara Howell said the increase in test positivity was indicative of the recent spike in cases.

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

React to this story:

0
0
0
2
2

(4) comments

Mike

20 new coronavirus cases were reported today by our County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, increasing Douglas County’s totals to 517 cases and 10 deaths. It took 138 days for Douglas County's first 100 coronavirus cases and 7 days for its last 100 cases.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 559 people who were in direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus are currently in quarantine. NONE of those people 559 were tested for coronavirus because the Commissioner’s Response Team doesn’t follow CDC guidance which recommends testing AND quarantine. It is likely a significant portion of those 559 people have coronavirus but who they were in contact with will never be traced because the Commissioners Response Team only traces those that test positive, NOT direct contacts. The result is the spread will continue exponentially and it’s probably already too late to catch up unless the Oregon Health Authority lends additional tracing staff.

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs has reported two more coronavirus cases in the last day increasing their total case county to 59.

The County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team reported 157 coronavirus cases and received 1,400 test results over the past two weeks. Dividing 157 cases by 1,400 test results increases Douglas Count’s 14-day positive test rate to a RECORD 11.2% today. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 5.0%

The 157 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks represent a RECORD HIGH 14-day case rate of 141.5 today for Douglas County. The school re-opening metric is a maximum of 50.

Mike

The Oregon Health Authority tracks hospital statistics for 7 different regions in Oregon. Region 3 consists of Douglas, Coos, Curry and Lane Counties. The OHA reported 19 ICU beds and 128 non-ICU beds available in the four county Region 3 today. There are a RECORD 34 people hospitalized in Region 3 for coronavirus today.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 141 new coronavirus cases today and a RECORD 985 cases and 8 deaths over the past week and a total of 7,078 cases and 60 deaths.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 754 new coronavirus cases and 3 deaths today in Oregon. This is the sixth straight day Oregon has reported over 700 new coronavirus cases and the test positivity CONTNUES to increase statewide. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon set another RECORD today at 12.5%. Douglas County was even higher marking a RECORD 7-day positive test rate of 15.6% today.

Mike

If "This is definitely not the trend we wanted to see happening in our County," then why did County Commission Chairman Chris Boice lead anti-mask rallies and “commend” people for not wearing face masks? Why did all three Commissioners defy the Governor’s shutdown order by re-opening the County Courthouse, County Parks, County Campground, County boat ramps? Why did Commissioner Boice urge businesses to defy the governor by re-opening their businesses during the shutdown mandate and then helped those defiant businesses pay their fines for doing so. Why is the Commissioner’s Coronavirus Response Team testing not complying with CDC testing guidance? Those are ALL ACTIONS that put Douglas County residents at greater risk. Those are all political action statements the three County Commissioners want us to forget about now that deaths mount.

Be good

Every 50 cases = 1 death

Covid is merciless!

We need to wear masks and as painful as it will be... we need to shut down our schools again to save lives! Every life matters. People that are older than 75 matter!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
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.