The Potluck

More than 200 cases of COVID-19 associated with Minnesota schools since Aug. 1, state says

By: - September 9, 2020 1:16 pm

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More than 200 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in connection with Minnesota schools since Aug. 1, the Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday, the first day of school for thousands of students statewide.

The state has not started providing detailed data about confirmed COVID-19 cases at schools but plans to soon, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said during a media briefing. About 81% of the 236 known cases were among staff, Malcolm said.

Minnesota students are beginning an unprecedented school year as they head back to class wearing masks and social distancing, while some  resume virtual learning from home. Districts’ reopening plans are based in part on the rate of COVID-19 spread in their communities and on their ability to implement safety measures.

Of the 400-some school districts and charter schools that reported their fall plans to the state, nearly two-thirds are starting the year with a mix of in-person and distance learning, the Star Tribune reported. About 12% are sticking with distance learning, and a quarter are holding full-time in-person lessons.

In Minnesota, there were reports of COVID-19 cases among staff and high school athletes weeks before the first day of school. Some districts delayed the first day of school as a result, including Montevideo, which canceled the first day of hybrid learning slated for Aug. 31 in response to confirmed COVID-19 cases and switched to distance learning for the rest of the week. Nearly two dozen teachers were quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19, some of them at a social gathering.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of COVID-19 cases associated with Minnesota schools so far.

Are there cases in your district that we missed? Back-to-school concerns you want to share? Let us know: [email protected]

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.