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Alsea School District to remain closed until at least Monday

Tiffany Eckert
The Alsea School District is no longer requiring its students and staff to wear masks.

Going against Oregon Health Authority rules, the Alsea School District is no longer enforcing masks in any school setting, except for when riding on a bus.

The Corvallis Gazette Times reports that in response, the Oregon Department of Education is withholding elementary and secondary school education relief funds until the district—located in rural southwest Benton County—comes back into compliance with the regulations.

Alsea’s new guidance went into effect Monday, but because of a recent surge in positive cases, the district closed that day and won’t reopen until at least next Monday, Jan. 31. This Friday, Jan. 28, was already an off day for the district, which generally follows a four-day schedule.

In a letter to families posted on the district’s website, Superintendent Marc Thielman said the situation was “improving rapidly” but that the extra time off was needed “to give all our staff time to fully recover and hit the ground running on Monday.”

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.
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