To 'prevent further spread,' SE MN school closes Tuesday to prepare for distance learning

Kids at the school will move to distance learning through Oct. 19.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Screen Shot 2020-10-06 at 11.18.32 AM

Classes for preschoolers, kindergartners and first- and second-graders at a school in southeast Minnesota have been canceled Tuesday on the guidance of county health officials due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. 

Byron Primary School, which is part of Byron Public Schools, announced that guidance from Olmsted County Public Health prompted it to temporary close to prevent further spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

"Today, the Byron Public Schools received guidance from Olmsted County Public Health that, based on an increased number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and contact tracing, the safest path forward is to temporarily close Byron Primary School (K-2) to prevent further spread," said Superintendent Dr. Joey Page. 

Byron Primary School is for students in grades PreK-2. All students will be off Tuesday so teachers and staff can plan for distance learning, which will begin Oct. 7 and last through Oct. 19.  

It's unclear if any students and/or staff have been infected with the coronavirus.

Byron Primary School was not identified as one of the seven schools with at least 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Minnesota Department of Health's weekly report last Thursday. The next weekly report from the state health department will be released at 11 a.m. this Thursday. 

Olmsted County, which is home to Rochester and the Mayo Clinic, has had 2,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Minnesota in March. That includes 17 confirmed cases in Monday's report from the Dept. of Health and 23 more in Tuesday's update. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Last week, the county health department reported 207 total cases, an increase from 126 the week prior. The increase of 81 week-over-week is the county's highest yet, and due to "more cases reporting that they do not know where transmission occurred," the health department suspects more widespread community transmission. 

Recent cases in Olmsted County are also trending younger. In the two-week period ending Sept. 20, 46% of cases were under the age of 30. 

In the two-week period ending Sept. 19, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Olmsted County to have 12.61 cases per 10,000 residents. Based on the criteria for different education models, that falls in line for 100% in-person instruction for elementary students and the hybrid model for middle school and high school students. 

Next Up

train car BNSF, grain hopper

Woman fatally struck by train in west-central Minnesota

The woman's identity has not been released.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 6.52.02 AM

Target reveals its first Black Friday deals; month-long discounts planned

The retailer is staggering its sales to make it easier to shoppers to plan amid COVID-19.

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 10.24.25 AM

MN elementary school unveils back-to-school plans amid pandemic

The Rochester school operates on the 45-15 yearlong calendar.

Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 8.22.07 AM

School near Duluth has 'high number' of people with COVID-19 symptoms

Wrenshall School District is moving to full distance learning.

coronavirus, students, masks

19 counties now above the threshold for 100% distance learning

It represents a two-week period ending Oct. 10, since when cases have continued to surge statewide.

classroom

Mounds View schools signals shift to distance learning for secondary students

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

teacher, school

Survey of 20,500 MN educators finds distance learning is fall preference

More safety measures would make educators feel more comfortable with in-person instruction.

classroom

Updated county COVID-19 case rates for school districts to follow

There are no counties in the distance learning for all students category.