Students, teachers and staff in Eugene and Bethel school districts will be able to remove their masks in certain outdoor and indoor situations during the final weeks of the school year.
As more people are fully immunized in Oregon, more and more aspects of life are returning to “normal.” In this context, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education recently released new masks guidelines for schools. Masks are no longer needed for Oregonians outdoors as of May 18, although masking is still encouraged, especially in crowded places and for unvaccinated people.
Eugene’s two school districts announced changes this week to align with new state guidelines. While they differ in some areas, the two still require masks indoors and whenever students and staff interact, regardless of immunization status.
Springfield Public Schools will not be making any changes for students at this time, district spokeswoman Jen McCulley said, but starting the week of June 1, staff who perform the immunization check will have the possibility to remain without mask inside when students are not present.
People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving their second dose of the vaccine if they have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of Johnson and the Janssen vaccine of Johnson.
Eugene School District
Everything will remain the same for students during the school day, according to a post on 4J’s website, although the district has made some changes for athletics outside of school.
“Students will continue to wear masks during the school day, indoors and outdoors, including during recess, PE, arrival and dismissal times,” the announcement said.
“With school ending in three weeks, each cohort of students has only a few days of school left. Taking the course with face masks during outdoor activities provides our students and staff with the necessary consistency and predictability, and as little disruption as possible to learn and adapt to new protocols in the limited time that remains. . “
However, face masks will be optional for student athletes and coaches participating in outdoor sports outside of the school day. For those who participate in indoor sports, face masks are optional only for those who are fully vaccinated and have verified their vaccination status. Spectators and all students and coaches who are not fully immunized should continue to mask themselves.
High school graduation ceremonies, which will all take place outdoors this year, will also be optional and socially remote.
As of June 1, staff will be able to remove their masks by working outside when there are no students, and indoors when there are no students, with proof. to be fully vaccinated.
Bethel School District
Unlike 4J, students and staff will be able to remove their masks outside during the school day, regardless of vaccination status. An ad on the district’s website said it included “recess, outdoor PE and outdoor music.” The rules of physical distancing still apply outdoors.
Students and staff should always hide inside. However, staff can remove their masks if they are in a closed classroom or office without students present, regardless of immunization status. Transport drivers and helpers are allowed to remove their masks on their buses if the students are not on them, and only if the drivers and helpers are fully immunized.
Lane County is still in the “high risk” category for state-determined COVID-19 guidelines. Once a county achieves a 65% vaccination rate in people 16 years of age and older with at least one dose, it will definitely be moved to “lower risk.” Lane County had 62.52% of residents aged 16 and over on Thursday with at least one dose.
Contact reporter Jordyn Brown at [email protected] or 541-246-4264, and follow her on Twitter @thejordynbrown and Instagram @registerguard.