EUGENE, Ore. – A rising number of coronavirus cases has forced at least two school districts in Lane County to halt the first day of in-person classes for students in kindergarten through third grade.
In notices posted to district websites late Monday night, officials with Fern Ridge School District and Crow-Applegate-Lorane said state requirements to return to in-person classes are no longer being met.
“This development means that all Crow-Applegate-Lorane students will be in distance learning for at least three weeks depending on how quickly test positivity and case rates can get below the target threshholds,” the district wrote.
According to public health guidelines, the county must have a test positivity rate of no more than 5% and fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 people for K-3 classes to resume in-person.
"We were really blindsided by those counts -- we knew they were climbing but we didn't think we'd have an immediate stop, so if the numbers improve we'll bring kids back on and we'll be on our original plan, but until then we're scrambling," said Malcom McRae, Superintendent for Crow-Applegate-Lorane.
Fern Ridge hopes to begin limited in-person instruction for K-3 on Sept. 24. Notably, students in grades 4-8 who were already scheduled to begin limited in-person instruction will still begin Tuesday.
This is a developing story.