Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Klamath County School District has temporarily discontinued all outside facility use by non-district groups.

Under state guidance, the recent number of cases reported by the county could have sent all KCSD students attending in-person classes back to online learning only. With support of Klamath County Public Health, students already attending in-person were allowed to continue.

“I hope people understand that our focus is on keeping schools open and getting more students back in school,” said Glen Szymoniak, superintendent of the Klamath County School District.

Szymoniak has submitted a new metrics proposal to the state that, if approved, would allow all Klamath County students to return to in-person learning. The proposal included a letter of support from Klamath County Public Health and assurance from the district that all COVID-19 guidance was being followed.

“In light of that, we need to be doing everything we can to reduce the number of county cases,” Szymoniak said. “We want our actions consistent with steps that will make that happen.”

The district announced last week that all facility-use agreements would be discontinued as of Sunday, Oct. 18. Groups including community-sponsored youth sports teams have been using district facilities for practices and games. Not all users were following COVID-19 safety rules and the district was not able to ensure that state guidance was being followed.

KCSD expects to reopen its facilities to outside groups as soon as the county’s COVID-19 rate is no longer a threat that could close schools and people using district facilities are respecting efforts to get students back in school by following the safety guidelines, including wearing face coverings and limiting gathering sizes.

“I appreciate the activities being offered for our students, and I want kids to be active. We are looking for ways for this to happen,” Szymoniak said.

The latest county case rates are looking better, and the district has scheduled meetings with facility users this week.