KWSO News for Fri., Nov. 6, 2020

In a letter to 509-J Families last week – the school district announced that since metrics for reopening schools across the state have loosened – they are asking for input about a return to school.  Safety measures which will be implemented include all staff and students wearing masks, social distancing, and consistently sanitizing classrooms and buildings.   For students currently in Comprehensive Distance Learning, you will be automatically shifted to in-person learning.  For current CASA students who want to continue with CASA – you do not need to do anything.  If you do not want your student to return to school or would like to change programs, you need to contact the Jefferson County School District Office at (541) 475-0325 by 12:00 PM today (Friday November, 6th.)

The Oregon Health Authority reported 805 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, shattering the state’s previous daily record of 600. Officials described the increased spread of COVID-19 in the state as “unprecedented” and occurring “more rapidly” than they had hoped. In addition, health officials said the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests last week was 8.5%.  Officials said that these increase in numbers leads them to believe “the increased spread is driven through small informal gatherings and not due to large workplace or other outbreaks.”

The first significant rain of the season in our region has officials concerned about potential landslides in areas recently burned by wildfire.  Angela Beers-Seydel with the Oregon Department of Transportation says normally trees and vegetation hold rocks and dirt in place on hillsides along roads. She says along highway 126 where the Holiday Farm Fire burned, the roadside is transformed. “The whole landscape is different. And, we’ve been going through it, trying to mitigate where we think there might be problems, but when the landscape changes that means those trees and roots and vegetation aren’t there to hold things in place like they used to.”  Beers-Seydel recommends travelers take it slow and be prepared. She says even in areas not affected by recent fires the first major storm of the season can make driving treacherous. Highway 126 has a lower speed limit since the Holiday Farm Fire created new hazards.