Schools keeping watchful eye on rising COVID cases

Coronavirus

School districts have options at their disposal

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Students in both Oregon and Washington will head back to school next week after 2 weekd with family and friends. That has school district leaders keeping a watchful eye on what-if scenarios as COVID cases spike with the omicron variant.

Washington health leaders said in-school COVID testing programs will ramp up but they’re deeply concerned about what could lie ahead. Most children between 5-11 are not fully vaccinated in either state.

There is a range of options, depending on case numbers — quarantining some children or all kids in a classroom or an entire school or even a school district.

Some schools are already taking more precautions. At the University of Washington, students will mostly be in online classes next week, which gives them extra time to get a booster and monitor for symptoms. Most colleges and universities in Oregon and Washington require booster shots.

Along with the worry of kids returning to school with COVID, there are other concerns in both Oregon and Washington. Both states are closely watching hospital capacity — which might be another factor whether schools revert back to online learning as a precaution.

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