Five Portland Public Elementary Schools Have Each Had a Single Case of COVID-19

A Head Start program and a high school athletics team have also had a single case. So far, there is no evidence of spread within Portland Public Schools.

Portland public school buses. (Sam Gehrke)

Since spring break, five Portland public elementary schools—as well as a Head Start program and a Jefferson High School athletics program—have each had one case of COVID-19.

The elementary schools are: Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Bridlemile, Hayhurst, Markham and Lent. Parents were contacted between April 4 and 11.

That each school or program has only seen one case so far means there is no evidence of COVID-19 spreading at schools since spring break, when hybrid instruction began for elementary schools, says Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Karen Werstein.

The Oregon Health Authority publishes a list each week of schools that have experienced even a single case of COVID-19, and Portland Public Schools notifies parents and teachers when any school has a case. The letters to the school communities do not make clear whether the case affected a student or staff member.

The letters sent to parents at a school that saw a case, obtained by WW, lay out the district's protocol in response to a positive COVID test.

When students have had direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the whole cohort reverts to staying home and resumes virtual class meetings.

"As part of a general response to keep everyone in the cohort safe and to protect the health of our community, we are temporarily transitioning any impacted cohorts to Distance Learning," the letters read.

For everyone else, the in-person instruction continues at these schools. "We understand this may bring up feelings of fear, concern, or stress for members of our school community," the letters read.

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