Portland School Closures

Officials from Portland Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, said 431 staff members had called out by Thursday evening. At least 175 of the positions were unable to be filled by substitutes. As a result, Cleveland High School and McDaniel High School were closed Friday.

Officials from Parkrose Elementary School also cancelled class on Friday, citing “excessive staff and student absences,” along with a lack of available substitute teachers. In a statement, Margaret Calvert, regional superintendent of secondary schools explained the schools monitored data and saw a “significant increase” in COVID-related absences.

Thursday, for the fourth consecutive day, Oregon set a daily record for the number of new COVID-19 cases – 7,615. Over the past week, Oregon has averaged 4,001 cases a day, a 162% increase.

Amid a surge of COVID-19 cases around the state driven by the omicron variant, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority jointly recommended on Monday that districts either implement new safeguards to slow the spread of COVID or temporarily stop extracurricular activities altogether.