Gov. Kate Brown announces new coronavirus metrics for school reopenings: Watch

FULL STORY: Oregon students may not return to classrooms if state sees surge in coronavirus infections, Kate Brown says

Governor Kate Brown held a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss new coronavirus health and safety metrics that will govern school districts’ ability to reopen for in-person teaching.

As fall approaches and Oregon health officials wrestle with an ever-fluctuating tide of new coronavirus cases, school districts across the state have begun releasing their tentative plans for the coming academic year.

State officials have made it clear all schools will have to offer students reliable learning opportunities but have said those can be all-online, fully in-person or a hybrid of the two.

Brown has said her administration would set specific virus-related metrics to guide any decision to allow students and teachers to physically be back at school. But her office sidestepped questions about whether those metrics would guide school districts or be a mandatory condition for holding in-person classes.

So far, few Oregon districts have announced plans to have all of their students physically return to classrooms full-time.

Many of the state’s largest districts are tentatively opting for a hybrid option, with classes split in half and attending school in person at alternating times. But leaders have cautioned the on-campus option could be constricted or cut off, depending on coronavirus case counts and public health advice.

Brown was joined by Oregon schools chief Colt Gill, who heads the Oregon Department of Education, Early Learning Division Director Miriam Calderon and state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger from the Oregon Health Authority.

Watch a replay of the press conference in the video above.

–The Oregonian/OregonLive

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