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Lane County Off Track On Metrics For K-12 In-Person Learning

Tiffany Eckert

Even with the recently relaxed metric requirements for returning K-12 students to the classroom, Public Health officials say a steady increase in positive COVID-19 cases is keeping Lane County off track for making the grade to reopen schools any time soon.

Officials report the county currently has 176 cases per 100,000 residents. And the positivity rate for overall cases has jumped to 8.9%.

The state now allows counties with between 100 and 200 cases per 100,000 to be placed in the “transition column.” Counties with 50 to 100 cases are in line to move into a hybrid of on-site and distance learning. Less than 50 cases make public schools eligible for on-site learning outright.  

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Edgewood Elementary in south Eugene is quiet during this school year. Only teachers and administrators use the building as students are taught on-line, at home.

Spokesperson Jason Davis said numbers need to be much lower, for much longer-- before Lane County could be approved for in-person learning.

“The overall trend has been one of increased cases,” Davis said. “We had a little bit of a lull there for a week and a half or so- and now thanks to the Halloween holiday and parties and then community spread on top of that and workplace clusters, we’re seeing our cases continue to increase.”    

Credit Springfield Public Schools / Springfield Public Schools
Springfield Public Schools
Lane County is currently off track to meet new metrics for re-opening classrooms with in-person learning any time soon, according to public health officials. This Springfield Public School district student is virtually learning at home on a recently donated desk.

There were 80 new COVID-19 cases announced Tuesday and Lane County saw its 36th death from the virus.  

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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