News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

COVID cases hit Sisters High School

School activities resumed Thursday afternoon after a brief shutdown was called over reports of COVID-19 cases at both Sisters High School and Sisters Middle School.

Superintendent Curt Scholl declined to specify numbers, citing concerns about medical privacy in a small community, but acknowledged “multiple cases” in the low single digits. Contact tracing led to a 14-day quarantine of 24 students at Sisters High School and the entire sixth grade at Sisters Middle School. The schools were thoroughly cleaned in the wake of reports.

Classes resumed Monday.

The school cases were reported as Deschutes County moved back into the “Extreme Risk” category. On Thursday, Deschutes County reported 125 new COVID-19 cases, the second-highest single-day report since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of Friday, April 30, St. Charles Health System reported 31 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, six in the ICU, with three on ventilators.

The Associated Press reported that “Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s state of emergency for COVID-19 until June 28, saying a fourth surge of the pandemic is being driven by variants of the disease and causing increased cases and hospitalizations.”

The declaration allows Brown to issue executive orders restricting activity, and helps the state access and use federal COVID-relief funds, according to the governor’s office.

The move back into the “Extreme Risk” category forced restaurants in Sisters to close indoor dining.

AP reports that, “The restaurant sector has objected to Brown’s action, with the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association declaring that the state lost more than 1,000 food-service businesses in 2020 and that 200 more closed permanently so far this year.”

In a statement, Brown offered a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

“I intend to fully reopen our economy by the end of June, and the day is approaching when my emergency orders can eventually be lifted,” she said. “How quickly we get there is up to each and every one of us doing our part.’’


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