County returns to Orange Level 1

posted Sep 11, 2020, 10:45 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 18, 2020, 2:13 PM ]
Orange Level 1

On September 11, Bartlesville Public Schools was informed that Washington County had officially returned to Orange Level 1 status for COVID-19. This is due to a surge in positive tests in the county from September 3-7.

That surge predates how the state began on September 8 to include probable positives from rapid testing and symptomatic close contacts. We have not yet seen any large impact from the first round of rapid-testing-by-appointment offered by the county health department on September 10.

The district's Pandemic Response Committee tracks the county’s new case rate from various sources on a daily basis, which had already indicated case levels commensurate with Orange Level 1, so this latest transition was expected.

Orange Level 1 is when the weekly average of daily new cases per 100,000 population is above 14.38 but less than 25. The official rate in the state reporting for Washington County rose from 11.64 on September 3 to 21.07 on September 10.

In accordance with the district’s Pandemic Procedures, the Pandemic Response Committee will continue to evaluate the history of active cases in the county, the district’s active contact tracing case tallies, and student and staff absenteeism in deciding whether or not to recommend any school-wide or district-wide shifts to Distance Learning. Thus far the Committee has NOT recommended such a shift, so in-person instruction will continue along with the existing virtual programs.

In accordance with Orange Level 1 protocols:

  • STUDENT FACE COVERINGS: While face coverings are still only MANDATED for students in grades 4 and up and are expected for all bus riders, the district STRONGLY ENCOURAGES that parents provide face coverings for PreKindergarten through 3rd-grade students and help them learn to wear them effectively. The district has passed along to each elementary school youth-sized cloth face masks, provided by a gubernatorial initiative, to help equip PreK-3rd grade students. All students already received a district neck gaiter.

We share COVID-19 resources at BPSLEARN.COM.

State Precautions

Governor Stitt's previous Public Health Advisory for orange and red counties called for:
  • Individuals age 11 and older wear face coverings in public settings, with exemptions including while eating at a restaurant, in a private office space, or at a religious ceremony where physical distancing can be achieved.
  • Restaurant staff should wear face coverings and tables should maintain six feet or more of distancing.