August East County Issue Forum 

School update for Fall 2020

August 6th, 3:00-5:00 pm

Zoom Audio Recording 

Thank you to our presenters for taking time to share with us the work they are doing during this unprecedented pandemic. We also want to thank those who were able to join our call. Due to a technical issue, only an audio recording is available. If you were unable to participate, you can listen to the audio recording  , copies of the slide shows referenced in order are on the side bar to the right. 


Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann, District 4

Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3

Jessica Guernsey, MPH, Public Health Division Deputy Director

Tiffany Colburn, Multnomah County Health Department

Angela Hubbs, Multnomah Education Service District

Below are questions that were asked to our presenters, with the accompanying answers.

Will there be a testing site in Rockwood?

  • Multnomah County Health Department is currently looking at the potential for a Rockwood site for a low barrier testing facility. Currently facing system challenges, such as not a full national testing strategy, a current delay in getting supplies and facilitating results in current lab capacity in the state. While these are current barriers, the Health Department is still looking at options for a site.

Does MESD look at once schools go back, what does bus service look like?

  • This is a district specific issue that they will have to create a response plan for.

  • Some ideas that have been shared are temperature screenings before boarding, and cohort style groups that would ride.

Will you have funding to ramp up mental health/counseling services to support students and staff through these changes?

  • County has numerous systems to provide wrap around supports that are needed. County has begun to meet on these issues and how to support young people and their futures. Sun schools, county community partners are working to create a larger strategy to support this.

Is there anything that can be done to significantly increase the number of testing being done in the County? Has there been any discussion of random testing to get a better idea of how wide spread the virus is at a point in time?

  • Multnomah County Health Department is looking at different ways to test in the community. Without large scale testing assistance, it is challenging. We are currently utilizing Oregon Health and Sciences University and Portland State University to get a larger point in prevalence testing in the county, and county epidemiologists are coordinating with them and ensuring an equity lens to address current disparities.

Is there a streamlined referral and resource process for agencies open to support families during this time? For example, our agency at LifeWorks NorthWest is open for telehealth and telephone therapy at this time, how can we ensure everyone in the county knows that they can refer to us?

  • In Multnomah County’s Emergency Operations Center, they have stood up a robust safety net referral system that is related to those who have tested positive.

Will there be any homeschool training for parents?

  • It is a requirement from the state of Oregon that districts offer training to families on how to navigate the differing online platforms that the districts are using. Please contact your district with more questions.

What is the plan for those youth or families that are on free or reduced lunch, families who rely on the school lunch program to feed their students?

  • Schools still have to provide nutrition services for students and they will still provide meals, distribution sites depend on the individual district.

Are there any statistics that reflect the percentage of students under the age of 18 who have tested positive, per 100,000? 

  • Please see the attached photo from the Multnomah County Board Briefing on July 23rd, that shows case counts for those under 18. Last data published on July 20th. 

Will the curriculum be the same since schools are doing distance learning? Or is that up to the individual schools? 

  • This may vary by school district, please contact your school district.

Are schools going to have any resources for school supplies?

  • Districts are working to see what options are available to get additional materials out to families. Please contact your local school district.

How do families get $250 gift cards? How are these being distributed? Are there other assistance?

  • Multnomah County’s Department of County Human Services is working with various community organizations to access these funds. Contact the Department of County Human Services at 503-988-3691.

  • Please also call 211 for additional resources that are available.

Will Childcare be available for everyone or will it be prioritized for parents who are essential workers?

  • Right now, licensed child care providers must be approved as emergency child care by the Early Learning Division at the state. As an emergency child care provider, they are required to prioritize essential workers, but they can be open for any family interested in care. Families looking for emergency child care should contact 211 to find a provider with openings.