Deschutes Co. COVID spike to delay school restart once again

Even after the state released more relaxed COVID metrics last week, a spike in local cases will keep Bend and Redmond kids out of the classroom until at least late November.

And another week of spiking cases could push the restart date into December.

Bend-La Pine Schools Interim Superintendent Lora Nordquist shared with families the grim news in an email late Monday after state COVID metrics showed the county missed the mark last week.

The county’s 113.5 cases/100,000 was above the 100 cases/100,000 threshold to start a hybrid in-person/online learning model for students in grades K-6.

“This is frustrating news, as we are eager to bring our youngest students back to school and look forward to transitioning our grades 4-5 students soon after, and finally our middle and high school students,” Nordquist said in her email.

Had the county met the metrics, a school board member said students likely would have returned Nov. 16th.

Nordquist warned parents the county was already on track to miss the mark next week as well.

On Monday, Deschutes County reported 30 new cases, the most single-day cases reported since the pandemic began.

Since Sunday, the county has already reported 58 new cases.

With the Thanksgiving holiday week fast approaching, the best-case scenario appears now to be an early December start.

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