Update about Contact Tracing and Reporting in All Multnomah County Schools1/14/2022
Dear PPS Community,
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) released new contact tracing and notification requirements for K-12 schools today:
Oregon will no longer consider masked contact in schools (including on school buses) to be an exposure regardless of distancing. Physical distancing should still be practiced to the greatest extent possible.
MCHD, OHA, and the Oregon Department of Education are directing that schools concentrate contact tracing and notification resources on:
- Exposures that occur during mealtimes (when students are unmasked);
- Exposures during indoor unmasked learning or extracurricular activities. (Reminder: PPS continues to require individuals to wear masks at all times while on school campuses (indoor and outdoor) and on school buses. We recognize that across our schools, there are certain settings that may pose a higher risk for exposure. We will continue to monitor and establish protocols for such settings in order to limit and mitigate the exposure).
This means you will no longer get a notification if your student is a close contact, unless exposure occurs during unmasked situations.
In addition, schools will no longer be required to report negative at-school antigen test results to OHA. Reporting positive antigen test results to public health will still be required.
During this period of high transmission of the Omicron variant in our communities, we know the best protections under these circumstances are vaccines, boosters, and masks to avoid serious illness. Please continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and stay home if you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
Please read the letter to all Multnomah County students and families from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and MCPH Director Jessica Guernsey issued today which contains direction from public health officials:
Thank you for your patience and understanding and for doing your part to keep our community safe.
Portland Public Schools