Impact of the Governor's Two-Week Pause on Social Activities on School Metrics

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Returning our students to in-person instruction remains a priority for Governor Brown

Hello Superintendents,

On Friday Governor Brown announced a two-week pause on social activities to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Oregon. These “pause” measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25, for Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, and Umatilla Counties. Based on increasing statewide case counts, as well as increased sporadic case rates in these five counties, the new public health measures to reduce spread are an effort to save lives in Oregon. Five additional counties––Washington, Baker, Union, Clackamas, and Linn––are close to the COVID-19 thresholds that would necessitate adding them to the Two-Week Pause.

This effort does not directly impact school operations under ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance or the metrics for opening to in-person instruction, including the exception for Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI). Schools in counties impacted by the pause must limit the capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoor, including staff, or the number of people based on a determination of capacity (square footage/occupancy), whichever is less. Capacity must be determined by using 35 square feet per person of usable space.

It has been shown that schools can mitigate risk of transmission when they implement the public health protocols in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. Schools providing in-person instruction or activities in these five counties should continue to partner with LPHAs to respond appropriately to any local outbreaks.

Returning our students to in-person instruction is a priority for the Governor. These pause efforts are designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help more counties meet the metrics for in-person instruction.

The Two-Week Pause measures include:

  • Urging all businesses to mandate work from home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Pausing long-term care facility visits that take place indoors to protect staff and residents.
  • Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people (including customers and staff) for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six. Continuing to encourage outdoor dining and take out.
  • Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).
  • Limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes those from outside your household, reducing the frequency of those social gatherings (significantly in a two-week period), and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle.

Please be sure to refer to these tools and resources as you serve students in-person:

If you have questions please review information on ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners webpage or email If you believe a school is not in compliance with the RSSL guidance you can file a named or confidential complaint with Oregon OSHA at 1-833-604-0884 or online.

Thanks for all your continued efforts in this time,

Colt Gill

Director of the Oregon Department of Education