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COVID-19: Gov. Tim Walz reportedly set to make major Minnesota schools announcement

The announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

There are rumors circulating that Gov. Tim Walz will make an announcement as early as Wednesday regarding Minnesota schools.

The governor in December said all elementary schools could choose to move to in-person learning starting January instead of basing the decision on county infection rates in an effort to prioritize the state's youngest learners. 

And on Wednesday, Axios Twin Cities said in its morning newsletter the governor is expected to announce "new guidance for public high schools" sometime this week. 

Blois Olson in his Morning Take newsletter reported something similar, saying Monday Walz would make a "significant" announcement about schools, and then reporting Tuesday that Walz's announcement would come Wednesday.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the governor's office hasn't said anything publicly regarding a potential school announcement.

The governor's anticipated announcement comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released new guidance for reopening schools, which has students returning to in-person learning when community transmission is low. 

But it turns out more than 90% of students in the U.S. are living in the CDC's "red zones" or areas that have the highest risk of community transmission in schools, CBS News reported.

In these red zones, the CDC encourages a hybrid model for elementary students, and a hybrid for older students too, so long as other mitigation measures are also taken, the Washington Post said, noting the CDC has been criticized for its new guidance that would send many schools that are fully open back to distance learning or a hybrid model.

As of Feb. 16, 28% of school buildings in Minnesota are doing in-person learning, the Minnesota Department of Education's website shows. Ten percent are doing hybrid learning model, 15% are doing distance learning and 48% are doing some combination of the three. 

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