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Lake Oswego School District will require masks for unvaccinated students under 12

The Oregon Department of Education is allowing districts to make their own safety plans. Lake Oswego worked with Clackamas County Public Health.

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — Lake Oswego released its draft health and safety plan that is set to be finalized on Monday, August 2. It outlines the mandates and practices that will be in place for when all students return to school full time.

Masks

Lake Oswego School District (LOSD) said it plans to mandate masks indoors for students under 12 who are not currently eligible for any vaccine. It is strongly recommended that unvaccinated students wear a mask but not mandatory. Masks are also required on public transit, including on school buses.

Quarantining

An exposure is defined as an unvaccinated person who has had close contact with a COVID-positive person. LOSD says that vaccinated people will not need to quarantine and vaccine status will need to be confirmed. Students who were within 3 or more feet of an infected student will not need to quarantine if both students were consistently wearing a face mask.

Physical distancing

LOSD will maintain a 3-foot physical distance, "to the extent possible."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends in its guidelines for K-12 schools, a physical distance of at least 6 feet for those who are not vaccinated. However, it cites that several studies from the 2020-2021 school year that show low COVID-19 transmission levels among students in schools that had less physical distance when the school used other prevention methods like masks. If mask-wearing is done properly, it recommends at least 3 feet of space in an education setting.

Lake Oswego addressed other issues in its draft safety plan such as cohorting, ventilation and airflow, handwashing, transportation and more. You can view the draft plan here.