By Associated Press • 

COVID case record in OR, Brown says school won't be 'normal'

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday reported 437 new confirmed COVID-19 cases – the highest daily count in the state since the beginning of the outbreak – as Gov. Kate Brown said children will not have a “normal year” when school resumes.

Authorities also reported two more deaths, bringing the overall coronavirus fatalities in Oregon to at least 437. More than 13,500 confirmed cases have been reported in the state.

In a statement on education Brown said “it has become clear that school this fall will not look like a normal year.” The Democrat said most students are in districts that will focus on online learning or a hybrid that limits in-person classroom time.

“I am pushing school officials to make sure underserved and marginalized students––our kids of color and our low-income kids––get the support and opportunities they need, Brown said.

A panel charged with coming up with guidance for schools in Oregon met on Wednesday, and Brown said they got an update on public health COVID-19 metrics from representatives of the Oregon Health Authority. They discussed the use of masks by students and how many people should be in school at a given time and how children could use buses during the pandemic.

Council members also began consideration of what specific metrics should guide local decisions about when and whether to shift from in-person to remote instruction during the school year, the statement from the governor said.

Health officials say the increasing outbreaks in the state are from social gatherings like birthdays, weddings and holidays as well as worksite outbreaks and cases from long term care facilities.

The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, and the vast majority recover. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.



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