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Minnesota will release back-to-school COVID-19 guidance on July 30

The state had said a decision would be made by next week.

Parents and students will find out what the plans are for the return of school in the fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic next week.

The Minnesota Department of Education announced that it and Gov. Tim Walz will release guidance for the 2020-21 school year next Thursday, July 30.

The state had previously said that a decision would be made on the coming school year by July 27, so the date has been pushed back by a few days.

"On July 30, MDE and Gov. Tim Walz will share Minnesota’s strategy to educate students and keep communities healthy during the 2020-21 school year," MDE announced Thursday.

"We’re grateful for his leadership and the partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health as we work to support our students, educators and families."

The department has previously said it's considering three scenarios for the return to school: full in-person classes; a hybrid of in-person and online teaching; and full distance learning.

There have been calls from Republican lawmakers for Walz to reopen schools this fall, or at least put the onus on school districts to decide whether to open or not.

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A national poll released this week found that only 1 in 10 parents think schools should reopen without restrictions this fall, with most thinking that mask requirements and social distancing measures are needed.

Almost 3 in 10 thinks that schools shouldn't resume at all until the pandemic is under greater control, while teachers and unions have expressed misgivings over a return to in-class tuition given the potential risk of the spread of COVID-19 to school employees, who are at greater risk from the virus compared to children.

If Minnesota does reopen schools in September, masks will be required for all those in attendance, with schools included in Gov. Walz's statewide mask mandate issued on Wednesday.

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