By News-Register staff • 

Students can ‘test to stay’ in classes

Unvaccinated students in the McMinnville School District can “test to stay” in class if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19 at school.

If a student tests negative, they can continue coming to class, rather than quarantining at home, Brian Crain, director of operations, told the school board.

If an unvaccinated student is in contact with someone at school who tests positive, administrators will notify that student’s parents. If the exposed student tests negative for the virus, he or she can stay in school; if the test is positive, 10 days of isolation outside of school is ordered.

Crain said a second test can be administered seven days after the positive test. If the second test is negative, the student can return to classes.

Rapid COVID tests are available for students at the district’s Family Resource Center, located in the old district office at 1500 N.E. Baker St.

The district has information about which students have been vaccinated and which have not, Crain said.

In other business, the school board approved two requests for out-of-state travel. They were the first requests to come to the board since March 2020 because of the pandemic.

The board gave the okay to McMinnville High School’s speech and debate club, which plans to send its varsity girls to a tournament in Arizona in early January, and to the school’s cheer program, which will send students to a tournament in late February.

The students and their families are eager to attend in-person events again, both speech coach Courtney Walsh and cheer coach Tracy Brandt said.

The board also heard public comment calling for the district to consider renaming Columbus Elementary School.

Writer Jerod Harney asked that the school be named instead for “a steward of our community and an admirable representative,” rather than “a slave owner, guilty of genocide and falsely credited as the original discoverer of these lands.”

His comments echoed those of an elementary student who spoke to the board several months ago. And her presentation prompted the district to put together a committee to consider the names not just of Columbus, but all of the other schools in the district, Superintendent Debbie Brockett said.

The committee of parents, staff and community members will begin meeting early in 2022.



Considering vaccinated students can also contract/carry the virus, why wouldn't this apply to them as well?


Since evidence is everywhere that the vaccinated are the ones spreading Covid, how can you only test unvaccinated?


While vaccinated individuals can become ill from covid, multiple studies have shown that their illness symptoms are less severe and that vaccinated people are much less likely to spread the virus.
It does seem prudent to test all students, although the unvaccinated group has much higher risk of serious illness.


Sometimes I feel like the worst part of Covid isn't the suffering and death—and that's saying a LOT—it's the misinformation and denial. The fact that some people prefer the misinformation over reality because they don't like reality, doesn't *change* reality.

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