Two of the state’s top priorities are to increase vaccinations and bring children back to the classroom in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown announced Friday.
In the former case, Brown said he would deploy Oregon National Guard to support the COVID-19 vaccination effort and help achieve the goal of 12,000 daily vaccinations set earlier this week.
National Guard members will provide vaccine assistance in Oregon last weekend at a mass vaccination event at Salem’s state trade fair, Brown said. The goal is to vaccinate 250 people per hour, with security guards providing logistical and nursing assistance.
The Oregon Department of Health has already provided vaccine doses to 190 sites throughout the state and will allocate an additional 30 doses next week, said Pat Allen, director of OHA.
According to Allen, the 12,000 daily vaccination program follows the rise in COVID-19 infection rates across the state. The infection rate estimates the number of people infected who spread the virus. A transmission rate of 1.0 indicates that the person carrying the virus will pass it on to the other person.
According to Allen, the state’s estimated state infection rate dropped to 0.8 in late November and remained low until mid-December, but increased sharply during the winter holidays.
Estimates of OHA as of December 23 are transmission rates between 1.14 and 1.45.
“This estimate does not reflect a potential further increase in infections associated with Christmas and New Year’s Eve social gatherings,” Allen said. “This means that the number of diagnosed cases may continue to surge.”
In order to bring students back to the classroom, Brown announced in December that he would shift state guidance and indicators on when the district could be reopened from duty to advice, giving the district more control over the area. The changes took effect at the beginning of the new year.
“All of our schools need to adhere to health and safety measures,” says Brown. “They must continue to work in close consultation with the local public health department.”
Colt Gil, director of the Oregon Department of Education, said two factors remain important to the district in deciding when students will return to direct instruction. The first is to keep the community case rate low so that COVID-19 is not regularly introduced to schools and the learning environment is not disrupted. The second is the district’s ability to implement school health and safety protocols and requirements.
He said the ministry has more than 160 health and safety protocols that need to be reopened and implemented in mandatory schools. Some of the requirements include admission screening protocols, the use of facial coverings, physical distance, cohorting, and frequent hand washing.
“These protocols, when faithfully implemented, reduce the risk of infection in schools in Oregon and across the country, and in fact around the world,” Gil said.
The state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Board met for the first time on Thursday, with K-12 school teachers and staff in the next column of vaccines after a group that included Phase 1-emergency workers, healthcare professionals, residents and staff. Approved to line up at a nursing facility.
“The impact on children who had to learn online was very, very difficult,” says Brown. “Not only from an educational point of view, but also from a social and emotional point of view, and from a social interaction point of view. This needs to be a priority as it was really challenging for our children. There is. “
Further decisions on which group of people will be prioritized for vaccination next will be made in the coming weeks.