School Settings

September 20, 2021

The schools and Columbia County Public Health are doing everything that we can to address the exposures within the schools in a manner that balances the health of students and staff and minimizes the impacts of COVID-19 illness and quarantine on the students' learning and development in school.

The impact on the schools, and the students who learn and participate in them, are an effect of the high rates of those ill and positive for COVID-19 in the community.  The best thing we can do as a community to support students' ability to participate in school at this time is to reduce the transmission of the virus through the means that work – to protect ourselves and those in our community by properly wearing effective face coverings, keeping groups small and maintaining distance from people not in our household, and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please see the following release from Columbia County on August 6, 2021:

Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education Launch School Dashboard

OHA and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are introducing a new interactive tool highlighting Oregon schools’ operating status. This dashboard displays a school’s current instructional model and ODE’s current school in-person recommendations based on COVID-19 case counts, rates and test positivity by county. The dashboard also highlights how many and which schools are operating under each instructional model. This new dashboard will enable Oregonians to quickly see what instructional model their school is currently following and the county’s in-person operation recommendations. This dashboard is a collaboration between OHA and ODE. The school instructional model data displayed is from the previous week. Data is collected on Fridays and will be updated the following Tuesday by 5 p.m.

School Operating Status Dashboard→

School Health and Safety Metrics

General county transmission levels can be viewed here→

Clatskanie School District

Scappoose School District

Rainier School District

Vernonia School District

Saint Helens School District
Northwest Regional Education Service District

Resources for students and parents

The Northwest Regional Education Service District→ is a good resource for school families and educators. Their website includes information on meal sites as well as resources for educators and service providers.
Experts from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network share their recommendations→ for educators supporting students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Additional Resources:

Trauma Informed Oregon→

Child Trauma Academy→

Teaching Tolerance→

To help manage the new “normal” of students no longer attending school in person for the remainder of this school year, several resources are available to families and students of all grade levels: 

Local Resources:

Columbia County School Meals Information

Community Resource and Service Update

Here's what you can do to prevent the spread of illness while school is out for the rest of the year.

Illness from COVID-19 can be mild and seem like the common cold. For some people, illness can become more severe. Symptoms to watch for include cough, sore throat, fever or difficulty breathing. Fever is not always present. Some people report loss of smell or taste as an early symptom. 

Staying home at the first sign of illness is the most important step we can take to keep our community safe and healthy. We should all be staying home as much as possible, according to the Stay Home, Save Lives→ order.

Please talk to your kids about the importance of staying six feet away from others outside of your house. We continue to hear reports of youth playing, rough-housing, and generally NOT following these lifesaving instructions.

Review hygiene habits with your household

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wear a face covering→ if you are in a place where you cannot keep six feet away from people outside of your household.

If someone gets sick in your house

Please review our home guidance→ for what to do if someone in your household becomes sick. It is important to keep the ill person separated from the rest of the household as much as possible, have one caregiver if needed, and alert your health care provider if symptoms are getting worse.

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Michael Paul
Phone Numbers
General Public Health Inquiries and 24-hour Emergency Contact: 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00