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Portland Public Schools adopts new COVID-19 rules for visitors, sports spectators

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - A new Portland Public Schools policy means all visitors staying 15 minutes or more, on any campus, must be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test. Pictured: Grant High girls celebrate a goal by Caprial Loescher (9, left) against Lincoln on Oct. 22, 2021, at Grant.Coronavirus rules and restrictions are tightening at some Portland schools.

As of Oct. 19, all volunteers and visitors entering a Portland Public Schools campus for more than 15 minutes will need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, or a negative test taken within 72 hours. PPS announced the new campus visitor rule around the same time as Oregon's vaccine requirement for all K-12 school employees went into effect. While the statewide rule doesn't apply to school board members, PPS's new visitor guidelines do.

The new rules apply to all visitors 12 and older who plan to be on a PPS campus for 15 minutes or more, including spectators at sporting events and practices.

District officials said they adopted the policy to align with the state's rules for vaccination of all employees and volunteers.

"PPS subsequently implemented standard operating procedures for visitors to align with the Oregon Health Authority's rule, define short-term visitors and provide protocols for long-term visitors, including proof of vaccination for those who are eligible," Dan Jung, chief operating officer for PPS, said via email.

Visitors who don't comply will be asked to wait outside, or if needed, may be trespassed from a PPS property, the district's announcement states.

Since the new policy went into effect on Oct. 19, enforcement has been spotty. Some spectators at football games reported being able to walk onto the field freely Friday evening. Oct. 22, without being asked for vaccine proof or a test result. The school district's policy indicates school administrators or designees are responsible for enforcing the new rules.

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