Oregon governor orders schools to reopen by April 19

Oregon governor orders schools to reopen by April 19
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Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownNew spotlight on secretaries of state as electoral battlegrounds Oregon mandates masks in schools, state buildings Sunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe MORE (D) is issuing an executive order directing all Oregon public schools to reopen for in-person learning by April 19.

“Today, I announced my executive order to return Oregon public school students to the classroom,” Brown tweeted. “The science is clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school.”

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In a statement issued Friday, Brown said school districts will return to full or hybrid in-person instruction by March 29 for kindergarten through fifth grade, and April 19 for sixth grade through 12th grade.

Schools would be allowed to offer distance learning in defined circumstances, such as if community transmission rates warrant a transition, per state or local public health directives.

Brown wrote in a letter to the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Health that she chose this approach because "schools will return our youngest learners to school first, and apply the lessons learned from that implementation process to reopening middle and high school buildings." 

The governor added that she made the decision based on improving COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates.

“Since December, COVID-19 case rates and positivity rates have greatly improved across the state and Oregon continues to fare better than almost every state in the nation with regards to infection and mortality rates,” Brown wrote.

The decision comes amid a bipartisan push to reopen schools for in-person learning. Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyArizona reports highest daily COVID-19 cases since March The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Republican governors revolt against CDC mask guidance MORE (R) signed a similar executive order on Wednesday ordering schools to return to in-person learning by March 15.