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Nearly 9% of GAPS students currently quarantined
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Nearly 9% of GAPS students currently quarantined

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Greater Albany Public Schools district office

Greater Albany Public Schools disclosed on Tuesday that 8.6% of the district's in-person population is in quarantine. 

The news was part of a report that included an update on new COVID-19 cases in the district and provided additional information on state procedures that led the district to quarantine students. 

The announcement comes after just over a month of in-person learning being open broadly to GAPS students after the state shut classrooms down last April. 

In total, GAPS has 6,852 students learning in person, in classrooms. There are currently 19 active student cases. 

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On April 23, districts across the state received additional guidance from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority concerning the need for students to quarantine. These rules are set out by the state, not individual school districts. 

Citing an increase in cases, hospitalizations and "more transmittable" variants of COVID-19, ODE now recommends a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated students who came in contact with individuals infected with the virus. 

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In compliance with the new state guidance, GAPS reported that there are currently 589 students in quarantine due to contact with a positive case. 

GAPS administration cited the state agencies as well as local county health authorities, including the Linn County Health Department, in its decision.

"We are neither more or less restrictive than their recommendations to us," a news release from GAPS stated. 

Districts around the mid-valley have repeatedly asked families to abide by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local health authorities by wearing a mask, washing their hands and social distancing. 

Continued community spread, districts have said, increases the chances of in-person learning being shut down for all students when positive cases show up in classrooms. 

This week, GAPS reported two cases at Liberty Elementary School, two at Periwinkle Elementary School, three cases at West Albany High School and one case each at Lafayette Elementary School, Sunrise Elementary School, Calapooia Elementary School and South Albany High School.

All cases were identified as student cases other than the case at Sunrise. That case was identified as a staff member. 

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