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28 mid-valley schools have COVID outbreaks
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28 mid-valley schools have COVID outbreaks

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Samaritan health care workers are now delivering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

Twenty-eight mid-valley schools have active COVID-19 outbreaks, according to the most recent data from the Oregon Health Authority.

The outbreaks can involve students, staff members or school volunteers at both public and private schools offering in-person instruction.

The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 and older by next week

Active school outbreaks in Linn and Benton counties range from one to as many as nine cases, OHA noted in a regular weekly report issued Wednesday. Those numbers were current as of Sunday.

Outbreaks are considered resolved when there have been no new cases associated with a school for at least 28 days.

The number of mid-valley schools with at least one reported COVID case has grown steadily in recent weeks, with the most recent tally up five since OHA’s previous weekly report.

And while the number of cases at individual schools may be small, they can have large impacts: Under Oregon Department of Education rules, not only must students who test positive stay home for 14 days, but other students or teachers who were exposed to them must also quarantine for the same period of time.

Greater Albany Public Schools announced on Tuesday that it has 19 students with active COVID cases. A total of 589 students, or 8.6% of the district’s in-person enrollment, are currently in quarantine due to exposure.

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Mid-valley schools with active outbreaks, and the number of cases at each, are as follows: Philomath Middle School (3), Corvallis High School (3), Riverview School in Lebanon (4), Cheldelin Middle School in Corvallis (2), Sweet Home High School (6), South Shore Elementary in Albany (2), Alsea Charter School (9), Santiam Junior Senior High School in Mill City (6), Liberty Elementary in Albany (2), Lafayette Elementary in Albany (4), Sand Ridge Charter School in Lebanon (2), Meadow Ridge Elementary in Albany (2), Calapooia Middle School in Albany (4), Lebanon High School (3), Scio High School (1), Santiam Christian School in Adair Village (6), Albany Christian School (5), Timber Ridge Middle School in Albany (1), Hamilton Creek School in Lebanon (2), Takena Elementary in Albany (2), Cascades Elementary in Lebanon (1), Clemens Primary School in Philomath (3), North Albany Middle School (3), Philomath High School (5), Seven Oak Middle School in Lebanon (1), Central Linn High School in Halsey (3), South Albany High School (5) and Periwinkle Elementary in Albany (2).

Meanwhile, outbreaks continued at a number of congregate care facilities and workplaces in Linn and Benton counties.

A COVID-19 outbreak at Willamette Springs Memory Care in Corvallis grew by two more cases last week to 17, according to Wednesday’s report from OHA.

Elsewhere in the mid-valley, outbreaks continued at Waverly Place Memory Care and the Mennonite Home, both in Albany, with six cases apiece, and at Meadowlark Senior Living in Lebanon, with five. A previously reported outbreak at Regency Albany is now considered resolved.

A new outbreak was reported at Quail Run Assisted Living in Albany, with three cases. An earlier outbreak at that facility was declared resolved in March after reaching 13 cases.

COVID-19 outbreaks at congregate care facilities can involve residents, staff, members of their households and other close contacts. To date, congregate care outbreaks have accounted for 14,211 cases and 1,324 deaths in Oregon, more than half the state’s total COVID-related fatalities.

The mid-valley’s largest workplace outbreak, at the Target Distribution Center in Albany, grew by one case last week to 24, OHA reported on Wednesday. A cluster of 47 cases associated with facility was declared resolved in January.

An outbreak at the Lowe’s Distribution Center in Lebanon also added one case last week for a total of six. A previous outbreak there topped out at 30 cases before being declared resolved in March.

A new outbreak with eight cases was reported at the Hollingsworth & Vose glass fiber plant in Corvallis, and a previously reported outbreak at NWI Defense LLC in Albany that had reached seven cases is now considered resolved.

Workplace outbreaks can involve employees of a particular company, members of their household or other close contacts. Since the start of the pandemic, 21,371 cases and 112 deaths have been attributed to workplace outbreaks in Oregon. OHA does not report COVID-related deaths by workplace, saying that to do so would violate patient privacy.

Bennett Hall can be contacted at bennett.hall@lee.net or 541-812-6111. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.

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