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Health officials have advised school districts to postpone or adjust extracurricular activities.

COURTESY PHOTO: DANIELS PHOTOGRAPHY - Juan Larios, Woodburn Independent - News  The omicron variant of COVID-19 has led to a dramatic rise in cases statewide, and Woodburn area schools say they will join several other local schools in placing limits on extracurricular activities school districts, including sports events.

Health authorities have advised postponing extracurricular activities. On Friday, Jan. 7, Oregon Health Authority's daily report of new cases numbered at 10,451; ten times the number of cases reported a month earlier, as the omicron variant surges through the state.

Spokespersons from Woodburn and North Marion school districts said they have emphasized safe practices, including extra steps with extracurricular activities.

Woodburn schools will offer limited, ticketed seating available at after-school events. No one will be admitted unless they are using an allocated ticket.

The district will require strict adherence to mask mandates and social distancing. Failure to follow safety expectations will result in removal from events and forfeiture of allocated tickets, the district said. Tickets will not be replaced once forfeited. No outside food or drink will be permitted and concessions will not be open.

"To increase safety measures that mitigate risks of transmission and risks of interruption to co-curricular activities and in-person instruction, we've put the following measure in place for co-curricular beginning today," Woodburn School District Superintendent Juan Larios said Friday in an email. "We've also communicated the risks associated with participating in co-curricular activities with families."

The decision comes after the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health & Science University urged people to get vaccinated and boosted during a joint press conference Jan. 7.

The district added a note of gratitude in advance for compliance.

"WSD would like to thank you for your understanding and continued support as we work to provide access to co-curricular activities and in-person instruction. The safety of students and families is our top priority. Our goal by taking these measures is to help our students maintain participation in clubs, teams, and activities they love."

WSD also provided a website where events can be streamed.

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- Schools asked to halt extracurricular activities as COVID surges

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