Portland, OR

Portland Daily Roundup: School districts make masks optional starting Monday, March Madness coming to Portland this week

Emily Scarvie

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, March 14 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Most Oregon school districts make masking optional starting Monday

Oregon’s indoor mask mandate ended Saturday and nearly every school district in the state is moving to make masking optional in the classroom starting Monday. Under Oregon’s “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” framework, health and safety decisions now reside with individual school districts.

Along with the mask mandate lift, districts will no longer need to have “test-to-stay” or contact tracing in place for students. The state has also updated its isolation guidelines for students exposed to COVID-19. Students will quarantine for five days at home, then be advised to wear a mask for the next five days while at school.

Parkrose School District in Portland is the only district in the region planning to keep masking mandatory until March 29.

2. March Madness games coming to the Moda Center this week

Starting Thursday, the men’s NCAA tournament is coming to Portland for first- and second-round games. Eight teams will compete in four first-round games on Thursday, including Gonzaga, UCLA, Saint Mary’s, Boise State, Memphis, Akron, Georgia State and Wyoming or Indiana (depending on Tuesday’s play-in game).

“It’s a big deal to Portland right now,” Brandon Bowden, who owns Spirit of 77 near the Moda Center, told KGW. “It doesn’t seem like a lot of things are coming to Portland, convention-wise, so something like this is important for a business like ours that relies on big events to come into town.”

To view the schedule of games taking place in Portland this week, click here. Winners will play in second-round games on Saturday.

3. I-5 back open after cows roam highway near Wilsonville on Sunday

After a group of cows got into traffic on Sunday afternoon, all lanes of I-5 southbound and two lanes of I-5 northbound have reopened near Wilsonville. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue said a livestock trailer tipped over and sent cattle onto the freeway just after 2 p.m. on Sunday. TVF&R rounded up the cows and loaded them into another trailer that responded to the scene.

The cows caused the entire highway to temporarily be shut down after 4 p.m. TVF&R reported that the driver of the truck was not seriously injured, but several cows were injured in the incident.

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