Clarification Regarding Recent State Mandates

BAKER CITY – (Release from the Baker School District) Baker School District has been impacted by two recent K-12 mandates from the state.

The first K-12 mandate requires face coverings in all indoor school settings, both public and private, including all students, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. 

Face coverings are not required outdoors during day-to-day school operations. Holding PE, recess, and other classes outdoors is encouraged by the district.

A separate state mandate going into effect on Friday, August 27, requiring Oregonians five years and older to mask in most public outdoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, where physical distancing is not possible, does not apply to day-to-day operations at K-12 schools. However, outside public events, spectator events, and gatherings of the public on K-12 school grounds are subject to the new rule. As an example, spectators at athletic events would be impacted.

The second K-12 mandate requires all staff and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, or six weeks from FDA approval, whichever is later. Two exceptions will be allowed, as with other required vaccinations: medical and religious.

This second mandate does not apply to students. COVID-19 vaccination is not currently available for students younger than 12 years, and COVID-19 vaccination is not currently required for students twelve years and older. “Shifting rules and guidelines are challenging, but we urge our families to join us in patience as we take time to listen, learn, and advocate for local governance that will result in the implementation of rules in fair and reasonable ways,” says Superintendent Mark Witty. “Any future changes to mandates will be communicated as quickly as possible to our community.”