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Aug. 20 updated COVID-19 county infection rates for Minnesota schools to follow

Learning models are determined by infection rates in counties school districts are in.
School students raising hands.

Now just over two weeks from the start of the 2020-21 school year for most public school students in Minnesota, more than half of the state's counties are seeing COVID-19 levels that are deemed safe for in-person instruction for all students. 

The model for whether a district plans for in-person instruction, distance learning or a hybrid of the two is based on the number of cases per 10,000 residents in a county over a 14-day period. Here's the breakdown:

  • 0-9 cases per 10,000 residents: In-person learning for all students
  • 10-19 cases per 10,000 residents: In-person learning for elementary students; hybrid learning for secondary students
  • 20-29 cases per 10,000 residents: Hybrid learning for all students
  • 30-49 cases per 10,000 residents: Hybrid learning for elementary students; distance learning for secondary students
  • 50+ cases per 10,000 residents: Distance learning for all students

Based on the learning model parameters, 51 of Minnesota's 87 counties are below the threshold (0-9 cases per 10,000 residents) for in-person learning for all students. 

There are 26 counties in tier 2 (10-19 cases per 10,000 residents), which sets the stage for elementary students receiving in-person instruction and a hybrid model for secondary students.

There are 10 counties with 20-29 cases per 10,000 residents, which equates to a hybrid model for all students. Those counties are: Blue Earth, Dakota, Hennepin, McLeod, Pipestone, Ramsey, Red Lake, Rock, Scott and Watonwan. 

No counties are currently in the higher tiers of 30-49 cases per 10,000 residents and 50+ cases per 10,000 residents.

"Any increase in case incidence can represent a greater risk, but schools may consider a 14-day case rate of 10 or more cases per 10,000 to be an elevated risk of disease transmission within the local community, especially when the level of cases per week is sustained or increasing over time," the Minnesota Department of Health said. 

You can see the full list of Minnesota's 87 counties and their infection rates per 10,000 residents dating back to May right here

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