Skip to main content

As coronavirus cases surge, more districts shift back to distance learning

Hastings is among the latest school districts to switch back
Hastings High School

Hastings High School

Several school districts across the state have announced plans to shift back to distance learning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as cases skyrocket in Minnesota. 

Thursday, Hastings Public Schools told families beginning Nov. 18, students in grades 5-12 would resume distance learning, with students in grades K-4 beginning distance learning Nov. 30. In both age groups, the change is set to last through at least Dec. 22.

The decision is in line with state recommendations, which say schools should use a "more restrictive learning model when the positivity rate hits 30 per 10,000 in the county," Superintendent Robert McDowell wrote

The current positivity rate per 10,000 is 33.4 in Hastings, and that is projected to grow to the high 40s and low 50s next week, McDowell wrote. 

"We continue to see increases in positive COVID-19 cases in our Hastings community and projections show continued high numbers," he said, adding new cases of COVID-19 in Hastings have almost doubled within the past week. 

Positive cases also jumped two weeks after MEA break, McDowell said, and health officials advise there may be another increase after Thanksgiving break. 

When the rate of positive cases in schools reaches 5%, the spread is considered "significant" according to the MDH. In Hastings, that rate is 8.1%. 

"The number of school staff COVID-related absences have doubled in the past week. And, the number of students out due to COVID related situations or symptoms continues to rise," McDowell wrote. 

Hastings is just one of several districts announcing such a change in recent weeks. 

Wednesday, Cloquet Public Schools announced that beginning Nov. 10, grades 7-12 should shift back to distance learning, with grades K-6 making the move Monday, Nov. 16 (as there is no school for those grades, to allow teachers to transition, from Nov. 12-13). 

"It’s with deep regret that we inform our families and staff of the need to shift to distance learning for all grade levels within Cloquet Public Schools," a letter to families read. "Despite our efforts, COVID rates have increased throughout the county and are in the midst of a rapid spike. This spike has led to large scale quarantine of students and staff and is crippling our ability to provide in-person schooling, along with meeting the other requirements placed upon schools."

About two weeks ago, Anoka-Hennepin schools, the state's largest school district, announced it would move its middle and high school students to distance learning - a move Deputy Education Commissioner Heather Mueller told the Star Tribune was proactive, not necessarily required by certain cases in that area. 

White Bear Lake, Centennial and Spring Lake Park districts are also moving middle and high school students to distance learning in early November. 

In Elk River and Forest Lake, elementary school students are shifting from in-person instruction to a hybrid model. 

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

And in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Mounds View districts, officials are warning parents they may have to also shift to distance learning for high school students if the spread continues to increase. 

Masks and social distancing do make a difference in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm reminded listeners on MPR News Friday afternoon.

"That's why you hear us on these press briefings imploring Minnesotans to do their part," Malcolm said. "We can all do our part, and keep up with those core public health principles, of [social distancing], wearing our masks when we're in public, staying at home when we're sick, avoiding large gatherings, and getting tested when it's appropriate to do so." 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.

image

Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

MissingBemidjiTeenBCA

Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.

PacoAndLime

Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.

0

New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.

MadelynHowardMugMonroeCo

Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.

LeeIGHGoFundMePhoto

Inver Grove Heights father killed during suspected burglary

Three people were arrested in connection to the homicide.

image

St. Paul's upcoming Spring Break restaurant will celebrate the 1980s

The restaurant is one of two new concepts bring brought to downtown St. Paul by local Chef Brian Ingram.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 11.19.05 AM

Man found shot dead on south Minneapolis sidewalk

The victim was found dead on a sidewalk in the Bryant neighborhood.

Related

school, school bus, covid

Anoka-Hennepin, Bloomington districts moving elementary to distance learning

Bloomington Public Schools is going virtual only for winter sports.

Burnsville High School

South metro district moves to distance learning to combat COVID surge

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district is dealing with high case levels and transmission.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

Mask distance learning school class

School leaders urge caution in response to Gov. Walz's fall reopening plan

Administrators, school boards, teachers, staff and students process Walz's guidance announced Thursday.

classroom

Mounds View schools signals shift to distance learning for secondary students

It comes amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations in Minnesota.

Mask distance learning school class

More schools shift to full-time distance learning as COVID-19 cases soar

Even the youngest learnings are shifting to full-time distance learning.

pexels-august-de-richelieu-4261793

St. Paul Public Schools joins Minneapolis starting year remotely

The school board voted Wednesday to begin remotely for at least six weeks

coronavirus, students, masks

Education Minnesota worried 'dial back' could hinder school reopenings

While the state is loosening restrictions for social activities, the MDH continues to stress that "each and every Minnesotan" needs to help contain the spread as schools reopen.