School Health Advisory for Continuity of Instruction

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September 7, 2021



Media Contacts:
ODE Communications Director Marc Siegel
OHA External Relations,

School Health Advisory for Continuity of Instruction

Advisory in effect statewide September 7 – October 1, 2021 

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are partnering to prioritize the safety protocols needed to reliably return to full-time, in-person school for all students. We know our students learn best in-person and they have access to other onsite critical services.

Schools are already using the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in school settings. Because schools are controlled settings, with layered mitigation safety protocols in place, the risk of COVID-19 transmission can be lower than in the general community in settings without such protocols in place.  

From time to time, OHA and ODE will issue School Health Advisories to identify additional steps families, schools, and communities can take to help keep our children safely learning in our schools. These advisories may be regional or statewide. The School Health Advisories may name actions that individuals, families and communities can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help schools stay open. They may be issued in response to either an increased risk by adding mitigation efforts or a reduced risk by rescinding previous School Health Advisories.

This release includes the first of these OHA/ODE School Health Advisories.

To maintain the continuity of instruction during the first month of school this year, OHA and ODE are issuing the following School Health Advisory, to remain in effect statewide September 7 – October 1, unless otherwise updated:

  1. All eligible youth and adults who come in contact with school-age children should vaccinate to reduce spread in the school community.
  2. Families with school-age children and educators should limit gatherings and non-essential activities with people from other households to the extent possible. If you are visiting people from another household, you should wear a mask, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet, and keep activities outdoors as much as  possible.
  3. To the extent possible, schools and other organizations should reduce extracurricular activities and consider holding activities, such as meals, recess, physical education classes, music and choir, outdoors to maximize physical distancing. Likewise, if schools and other organizations proceed with extracurricular activities, they should consider holding them outdoors and implementing additional precautions like face coverings and physical distancing.
  4. Schools should hold beginning of the year family events (open houses, meet the teacher nights, etc.) online, rather than in-person. If events are held in-person, ensure all participants wear masks, hold the events outside, and maintain physical distancing of 6 feet to the degree possible.
  5. Families should check your school’s website or ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners website to review your school’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan

Review these back-to-school COVID-19 safety tips for more information on how to keep everyone safe as students return to the classroom. 

For more information on how your school is planning for a safe return to full-time, in-person learning go to

Thank you for doing your part to ensure our children have consistent access to in-person learning this fall.