'We would also say if you're not comfortable being open, they can close their facility if they like.'

STEPHANIE YAO LONG/THE OREGONIAN LC - A Portland day care facility shown in 2013.While Gov. Kate Brown ordered Oregonians to avoid groups of more than 25 as part of the state's latest effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Oregon Department of Education on Tuesday reinforced her message that day cares are exempt from that mandate.

Oregon has a little more than 4,000 licensed providers.

The education department advises day care providers to "take care of their own health during this time," particularly if they fall within the most vulnerable demographics for coronavirus. Those older than 60 have comprised the majority of fatalities across the globe.

The education department's Early Learning Division also reiterated that it is working to give providers more flexibility, including raising the number of children older than infants that each adult can care for.

Early Learning Division spokeswoman said those who are older than 60 or have underlying medical conditions that would make them susceptible to coronavirus, such as autoimmune disorders, should contact their licensing specialist.

"We would also say if you're not comfortable being open, they can close their facility if they like," she said.

The education department has also said public schools are scheduled to resume classes April 1 but that officials are revisiting those guidelines over the next week.

This news story from The Oregonian/OregonLive is shared as part of a cooperative effort to provide Portland-area readers with the latest COVID-19 information.

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