PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Forest Hills Elementary School is expected to reopen after being closed for a week.
The school shut down due to a discovering one of the district’s staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was the first reported case in Oregon.
Superintendent Dr. Lora de la Cruz made a statement to media outside Forest Hills on Thursday morning, a few hours before the school’s reopening.
“It feels like a lifetime ago that I first learned that Oregon’s first case of COVID-19 was right here in the Lake Oswego School District,” she said. “Upon first hearing that news, our leaders, teachers and staff went to work immediately to ensure safety and well-being of our community.”
She described the various resources the district had dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing the school, along with reinforcing and providing support for greater hygiene and healthy practices. They’ve also begun contingency plans should they need to provide students with online learning opportunities.
“Throughout it all we’ve remained forthright and calm — I must say we are so grateful for our Clackamas County and Oregon Public Health authorities for providing us with incredible guidance and support throughout this process,” said Dr. Cruz. “Through this journey, our hearts and minds have remained with our staff person who tested positive for COVID-19 and we wish for a swift recovery so that we may welcome this staff person back to the forest hills community soon.”
Although she says they don’t know if this is the last they’ve seen of COVID-19, the community will stay on top of it.
“I believe we’ve become stronger because of this experience and I’m confident that our community will work together for the best outcome for students, staff and families.”
Going forward, the school plans to talk with students about hygiene, changing custodial routines to disinfect the school more regularly and they are actively monitoring sickness in the school.
The school district is also creating a new absence reporting system to allow parents to provide symptoms their child may have.