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School districts staying calm after OHA releases coronavirus guidelines

Schools are staying open and district officials are staying calm after the Oregon Health Authority released coronavirus guidelines.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 1:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Schools are staying open and district officials are staying calm after the Oregon Health Authority released coronavirus guidelines to keep kids in school.

"We've worked with our custodial staff and our janitorial staff to make sure that we're doing more sanitizing than we would typically do if there was not a widespread illness that is occurring," said Brett Yancey, chief operations officer at the Springfield School District. 

Yancey said parents have expressed concerns about the safety of the schools. But he said he's confident that keeping the doors open is the right decision.

"I agree, I think that they have the most current knowledge, I think they are working with all agencies, they have the information that a lot of us public agencies don't at this point so we do rely on their information and their contacts and follow their direction," Yancey said. 

Donna Copeland, director of Learning Tree Daycare in Springfield, spoke out about what steps they are taking to keep their kids healthy, but for the most part, they are treating coronavirus as they would any cold or flu season and conducting business as usual.

"So we have three hand-sanitizing stations for the adults to use not for the children to use that we just have available, one in our entryway, and our infant room, and what we call our wobbler room or young toddler room," Copeland said. 

Copeland said although keeping hard surfaces sterile and making sure buildings are disinfected is important, she thinks there's an even simpler method. 

"Teaching kids the importance of handwashing, so I don't think all the hysteria is necessary," Copeland said. 

Jason Davis, of Lane County Public Health, agreed.

"Covering your cough and sneeze, staying home if you're sick, throwing away your tissues, all these things are so simple I'm almost not sure people are hearing the message really," Davis said. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31865

Reported Deaths: 539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7022136
Marion456992
Washington441759
Umatilla293941
Clackamas234661
Malheur158926
Jackson11094
Lane109616
Deschutes79312
Yamhill75013
Jefferson5218
Polk51515
Linn49513
Morrow4946
Lincoln47613
Union4392
Benton2946
Klamath2792
Wasco2793
Hood River2490
Douglas2244
Josephine1952
Columbia1551
Coos1490
Clatsop1310
Baker922
Crook621
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake290
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
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