Local COVID/Superintendent Update January 4, 2021

January 4, 2021

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you were able to get some rest and relaxation over the winter break. The latest COVID case numbers for our county have been posted. As anticipated, we did go up a bit and moved into the Red zone with 211 cases per 100,000. This number reflects a portion of the holiday season as well as the outbreak at the local care facility.

This week’s cases will reflect New Year’s celebrations and then we will move into several weeks of “normal” times on the calendar. As we saw after Thanksgiving, the numbers went up before a steady decline. I would anticipate we will see the same in January, provided folks continue to take the necessary precautions and protocols.

Over the winter break, Governor Brown announced that the Oregon school metrics will be advisory, but not mandatory. This new directive makes the decision to resume in-person instruction a local decision, district by district. I am hopeful that January and February are months where we will be able to bring more of our kids back to the hybrid in-person model. We will work closely with Coos Health and Wellness to make solid, data-driven decisions. As we have shown within our own district since September, we can operate a hybrid in-person school safely. We have had cases impact our schools and had to quarantine classrooms and staff, but we have not had spread within the schools or cases that we could not trace back to the exposure. These are two very important factors we will be considering as we make plans to bring more students back. We will also watch our community case numbers daily and weekly.

These decisions are difficult and do not come easy. As we plan to bring more kids back to the hybrid in-person model, we consider students and teachers alike. We will work together to offer the best options, whether that is in-person or online. In the coming days I will be sending out a more concrete plan with target dates to plan for, knowing full well that things can change quickly.

One Team, One Goal

Bryan Trendell
Coos Bay Public Schools