Deschutes Co. reports another COVID spike; schools restart delayed again

Bend-La Pine and Redmond schools remain on “Week Zero” in their effort to get kids back into the classroom.

Deschutes County reported 85 COVID cases last week (44/100,000 residents), once again well above the metrics needed to bring back kids in grades K-3.

In fact, only once since the pandemic started – the week of July 19-25 – has the county reported more cases in a single week.

State health metrics say the county needs to see 30 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents for three straight weeks; meaning the earliest possible return to class now would be November 9th.

Some school districts across the state have conceded they won’t meet the metrics set by the state and have announced they’ll continue distance learning into February.

Meanwhile, Gov. Kate Brown has said she plans to talk with health officials and school leaders about possibly revising the state metrics.

Local school districts continue to hold out hope for a significant drop in cases to begin a hybrid in-person/online learning model that would allow half the district’s kids in class one day, the other half the next.

But after a six-week slide in cases starting in late July, cases have shot back up in September.

You can see the Oregon Health Authority’s weekly School Metric Data here.

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