Maple Grove, Park Center Among High Schools with at Least 5 COVID-19 Cases
The Minnesota Department of Health report released new data Thursday on schools with at least five cases of COVID-19. The report lists Maple Grove Senior High School and Park Center IB World School as among the first metro-area schools with higher case levels related to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The MDH list includes 24 schools in 19 counties. Other metro-area schools include Blaine High School and Chanhassen High School.
The schools listed involve at least five students or staff members who tested positive for COVID-19. The Osseo School District, which includes Maple Grove and Park Center schools, recently opted to remain in the hybrid learning model.
A spokesperson for the Osseo School District told CCX News to exercise caution in calling the situation an “outbreak,” noting that of the district’s almost 25,000 students and staff, there were 24 total confirmed cases between Oct. 8 and Oct 14. That would be less than 1/10 of 1% of the district’s population. For comparison, the state’s 7-day case positivity rate has been at 5% or higher in recent weeks.
“Because schools are microcosms of the community and virus case rates are increasing, it is not surprising that positive cases in our community are affecting–and will continue to affect–schools,” said Barb Olson, spokesperson for Osseo Area Schools.
To promote transparency, the district created a COVID-19 dashboard, which provides data about positive cases among students and staff. Osseo Area Schools updates the dashboard weekly. It shows 76 total cases among both students and staff since Aug. 20.
Anoka-Hennepin District to Consider All Distance Learning for Some Schools
The Anoka-Hennepin School District, meanwhile, is considering shutting down schools in response to a surge in cases. On Wednesday, the district told families it may close middle and high schools, which have been on a hybrid schedule since Sept. 28. Anoka-Hennepin started the year in distance learning.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, schools will remain on the list of five or more cases, until there no new case reports for 28 consecutive days. MDH notes that being on the list does not mean a school has ongoing transmission.