COVID-19: October 1 updated county infection rates for Minnesota schools to follow

County infection rates are increasing statewide.
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Infection rates of COVID-19 in counties throughout Minnesota are rising, according to a weekly report issued by the Minnesota Department of Health that shows how many cases per 10,000 residents there are in all 87 counties. 

The infection rates per 10,000 residents are specifically designed to help school districts make an informed decision about teach models, be it in-person instruction, distance learning or a hybrid of the two – and it's based on the number of cases per 10,000 residents over a 14-day period.

  • 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, only 11 counties are currently below the threshold (0-9 cases per 10,000 residents) for in-person learning for all students. That's down from 24 counties in that bracket a week ago. 

The number of counties in the second tier (10-19 cases per 10,000 residents) dropped from 45 last week to 44 as of October 1. The big increases are seen in the upper tiers:

20-29 cases: 9 counties last week, 16 counties as of Oct. 1. 

The counties in this group, which calls for hybrid learning for all students, are: Anoka (20.78), Benton (20.36), Blue Earth (26.99), Dodge (21.38), Douglas (20.70), Kanabec (25.62), Meeker (26.00), Mower (23.74), Nobles (20.15), Pipestone (20.69), Renville (27.17), Roseau (21.99), Sibley (24.81), Stearns (25.83), Wabasha (21.86), Winona (29.50). 

30-49 cases: 8 counties last week, 12 counties as of Oct. 1. 

The counties in this tier, which calls for hybrid learning for elementary students and distance learning for secondary students, are: Chippewa (32.47), Clay (40.92), Freeborn (31.12), Jackson (39.81), Lac qui Parle (35.43), Lyon (30.19), Martin (40.57), Pine (41.54), Redwood (48.27), Rock (47.81), Watonwan (47.39), Yellow Medicine (46.62). 

50+ cases: 1 county last week, 4 counties as of Oct. 1.

The counties in this tier, which calls for distance learning for all, are: Big Stone (55.82), Lincoln (54.32), Swift (52.07), Waseca (92.51). 

"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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