Clarification on the Impact of the Governor’s Two-Week “Pause”

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Principals, ESD Leaders, Charter School Leaders, Private School Leaders and PIOs
From: Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education
Date: November 9, 2020
Subject: Clarification on the Impact of the Governor’s Two-Week “Pause”

Superintendents and School Leaders:

The purpose of this message is to provide additional clarity related to Governor Brown’s two week “pause” on social activities. Schools in counties where the two-week pause is currently in effect from November 11 - 25, 2020 include: Baker, Clackamas, Jackson, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Umatilla, Union, and Washington Counties.

The pause has no impact on in-person instruction in schools that are currently operating under ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, including the exception for Limited in-Person Instruction (LIPI). For LIPI, the guidance remains unchanged, with no new limit to the number of students receiving limited in-person instruction. RSSL and LIPI protocols must be followed related to stable cohort size, time spent on-site, face coverings, physical distancing, entry screening, etc. 

The pause does impact indoor spaces where K-12 school sports are practiced or played. Public and private schools in the “pause” counties (listed above) must limit the capacity of students, staff and family gathering indoors for athletics and extra-curricular activities to a maximum of 50 people (including staff, students, or families) 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.

This message amends the email sent November 7 which was intended to share this same understanding, but raised additional questions for school leaders. We own the challenge and hope this creates the clarity needed at this time. 

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.