Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.
As most of you are aware, Governor Brown announced yesterday a statewide indoor mask mandate for everyone ages 5 and up, regardless of vaccination status. For complete details on this new mandate, we recommend you take a look at the fact sheet released by the Governor’s Office yesterday.
We are still processing this new mandate and its effect on schools, but we know the following:
- Masks will now be required in all district buildings at all times except where specifically exempted.
- The new indoor mandate specifically exempts organized, competitive sports. We expect this means the mandate will not apply to indoor school-based athletic activities.
- The new mandate likewise provides “common-sense” exemptions for activities where masks would be impossible. While the mandate specifically mentions singing, we expect this means that activities like band will be exempted from the mandate as well.
- We don’t yet know whether or not choir will be exempted from the mandate. While this new rule does specifically exempt singing, the previous (and still in-effect) rule from the Oregon Health Authority requiring masks in schools does not exempt choir. We are seeking additional guidance on this topic.
- The new mandate does not include any social distancing, cohorting, or other requirements that would impact our ability to return to a full five-days per week schedule this fall. As a result, we still fully expect and plan to return all students to school on a full five-day per week schedule in September.
As mentioned above, we are still processing this new information internally, and expect we may see additional guidance for schools in the coming days and weeks leading up to the start of the school year. We pledge to share any applicable information with you as soon as we can upon receiving it.
In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work in the changing landscape of this pandemic. Have a wonderful day.