The Minnesota Department of Health has identified seven schools that have had at least five confirmed cases of COVID-19. It is the first weekly report that will help provide transparency to where the disease is known to be spreading within school buildings throughout the state.
Here are the seven schools, three of which are located in Martin County in southern Minnesota:
- Brainerd High School (Crow Wing County)
- Albert Lea High School (Freeborn County)
- Isanti Middle School (Isanti County)
- Fairmont High School (Martin County)
- Martin Luther High School (Martin County)
- St. Paul Lutheran School (Martin County)
- Hinckley Elementary (Pine County)
Schools are only identified if five ore more cases are reported in a school building within a two-week period. However, it's also noteworthy that the MDH says schools listed might not have ongoing transmission.
"School buildings that have not reported a new case for 28 days will be removed. If five or more cases are reported in a school building in a subsequent two-week period, they will once again be listed," the health department's report explains.
No further information about COVID-19 in Minnesota schools has been released, though on Thursday the Department of Education's Deputy Commissioner Heather Muller said the number of schools would also be listed (not named) if they had one case or 2-4 cases. Her statement said confirmed cases would be reported "in all Minnesota prekindergarten through grade 12 school buildings, including public, nonpublic and tribal schools."
On Thursday, Community Health of Martin and Faribault Counties announced that six of Martin County's 141 active cases were hospitalized with COVID-19, and aged 36, 41, 56, 58, 62 and 84, respectively. It also said that it had 17 new cases on Thursday, including six kids ages 4, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 16. None of the 17 were hospitalized.
On Sept. 22, Brainerd Public Schools announced that grades 9-12 were moving to 100% distance learning due to a "proven and growing cluster" of COVID-19 cases.