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It is the second school in the St. Helens School District to temporarily shut down due to a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

Columbia City Elementary School will pause in-person instruction beginning Wednesday, September 29, due to a possible COVID-19 outbreak, the St. Helens School District announced Wednesday.

According to Columbia City Elementary School principal Jennifer Vanderschuere , many students are out sick with symptoms that could be suspected as COVID-19. The school reportedly is waiting on confirmed laboratory tests and the public will be updated as more information is available.

A letter sent to parents by Vanderschuere states that, "At this time, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily pause in-person learning at Columbia City Elementary starting on Wednesday, September 29. Our hope is to return to in-person instruction by Wednesday, October 6, pending the results of student COVID 19 testing."

In the meantime, students at the school will return to at-home virtual instruction, Vanderschuere said.

It's the second school in the St. Helens School District to announce a temporary shutdown due to possible COVID cases. Lewis & Clark Elementary temporarily closed its doors Monday, September 27.

"As the school is on pause, we will be taking the extra time needed to clean and sanitize all surfaces while following all guidelines and advice from our local public health authorities to ensure a safe return to school for students and staff," the letter continues.

While temporarily on pause, families may pick up meals for students starting September 29 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the front of the building. Meals will include lunch for the same day and breakfast for the following day.

In addition, the letter says students will be able to borrow Chromebooks from the school. The school will also offer a drive through Chromebook pickup Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in front of the building.

Families will be updated on the school pause by phone, email or the ParentSquare App, the district said.

Families are asked to notify their child's school and Columbia County Public Health if additional household members become ill and/or test positive for COVID-19.

For more information, you can Columbia City at 503-366-7550 or Columbia County Public Health at 503-397-7300.


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