School Exclusion Day approaches for local students

By on Thursday, February 8th, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

NORTHEAST OREGON — Exclusion Day in Oregon is coming up in less than two weeks.

Kids could be kept out of school on February 21 if their immunization records aren’t updated. The Oregon Health Authority says it’s a state law.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases can be highly contagious, with several cases of measles recently taking place in the Pacific Northwest and across the U.S.,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator in Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Public Health Division. “Immunizations remain the best way to stop that spread, keeping kids and school communities healthy and safe.”

Leading up to School Exclusion Day in 2023, local health departments in Oregon sent 26,688 letters to parents and caregivers informing them that they needed to submit records showing up-to-date immunizations for their children. That led to a total of 4,048 children being sent home and not being able to attend school until their families provided the necessary vaccination records.

This year, local public health authorities mailed letters to families on or before Feb. 7.

The Baker 5J School District says resources are available for parents whose children need their vaccines up to date.

“We encourage all those who have questions, need copies of Oregon records, or need immunization appointments ahead of the February 21 School Exclusion Day to contact the Baker County Health Department,” said Lindsey Bennington-McDowell of the Baker School District. “Parents can call 541-523-8211 or our K-12 School-Based Health Center inside Baker High School by visiting or calling 541-524-2646.”

The La Grande School District says, “If your student needs a vaccine, CHD or the School-Based Health Center can help! Call 541-663-3330 or 541-962-8801 for free information.”

You’re asked to contact your local school district with any questions about exclusion day.