Coronavirus mandate impacts local schools
On Wednesday night, Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidelines for Oregonians with regard to the COVID-19 coronavirus. In addition to banning gatherings of more than 250 people and encouraging social distancing, schools received a mandate to cancel all non-essential activities for the next 30 days.
The mandate took effect Thursday and will have a significant impact on the Newberg School District.
"This action is not related to a presumptive case, but is in keeping with Gov. Brown's guidance," NSD communications director Gregg Koskela said in a message to the district. "At this time, there are no presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Newberg public schools. We remain committed to keeping our schools open and safe as directed by the governor."
The cancellation of all non-essential school activities will include all school-based assemblies and events, off-campus field trips, parent meetings and professional development meetings and events, according to the release. Spectators will not be allowed to attend sporting events for the time being and only essential personnel and credentialed media are allowed in.
The local events cancelled due to this announcement include the Oregon Battle of the Books event scheduled for Saturday at Newberg High School, the Newberg Nation event for incoming freshman and the NHS Performing Arts trip to Disneyland, among others.
This list is expected to grow in the coming days and weeks and all updates will be provided to the community by the district as soon as they are available.
"We realize these suspensions affect many events that students and families have prepared for and looked forward to for a long time and we are saddened by these losses," Koskela said. "We believe it is prudent and responsible to take direction from state authorities and to continue to be prepared for any future changes."
The district is encouraging behavior that might hinder the spread of the virus. Students have been encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough and stay home if they feel sick. Social distancing is key and is encouraged in the coming weeks as the community seeks to protect itself from the virus.
Frequently asked questions about the virus and the district's response can be found in English at bit.ly/32Tr0am and Spanish at http://bit.ly/3cC0K8T. Further updates will be distributed to people in the district via email alerts and those same messages will be posted on the school district's social media pages.
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