By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Schools cancel activities

McMinnville, Amity and other school districts are canceling assemblies, field trips and staff trainings -- all non-essential school-based activities — due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Yamhill County Head Start also is canceling parent meetings and other gatherings.

Cancellations will last at least a month.

Athletic events in McMinnville will continue without their fans. “We are following new state guidance denying audience admission at all school-based events, with the exception of essential personnel and credentialed media,” the school district said.

Classes will continue as usual at public schools throughout the county, as will breakfast and lunch programs. Educators and community members had been concerned that some children would miss out on meals if they couldn’t eat at school.

The Oregon Department of Education and public health officials have recommended keeping schools open, McMinnville Superintendent Maryalice Russell told the school board Monday.

Across the state, if a student is diagnosed with coronavirus, the district is expected to provide extra sanitation, then reopen, she said. No one in the McMinnville district or any Yamhill County district has come down with the disease yet.

Russell said her staff has been meeting for weekly virus updates from county officials. “We’re spending a lot of time on protocols and working with students and staff,” she said.

Custodians are doing extra cleaning, especially of door knobs and other frequently touched surfaces. School personnel and students have been told to follow Centers for Disease Control recommendations, including washing hands thoroughly and frequently, not touching faces, sneezing into arms and avoiding close contact with others.

“The safety, health and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority,” Russell said.

The coronavirus concern also has led McMinnville to postpone its budget committee work session. The meeting planned for March 18 has been moved to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in the school district office.



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