Surge in COVID Cases Has Students Returning to Distance Learning

Surge in COVID Cases Has Students Returning to Distance Learning Click to Enlarge Photo: Unsplash

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Surging coronavirus cases in Minnesota schools have reduced the number of counties where the virus is spreading at low enough rates to allow for full, in-person instruction.

State health officials say statewide, more than 500 schools had at least one positive case in the last two weeks, and 24 public and private schools reported outbreaks with at least five positive cases.

Just Cook and Kittson counties now have low enough spread of the virus to meet the state’s threshold for in-person instruction for all students, the Star Tribune reported.

At the other end of the spectrum, nine counties have widespread enough virus activity for the state to recommend distance learning for all students. Those counties include Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Pipestone, Waseca and Yellow Medicine.

Health officials say they are facing increasing challenges from parents, students and community members trying to conceal the spread of the virus to keep schools open and sports programs running.

Epidemiologist Susan Klammer says in some communities, resistance to testing or quarantining after COVID-19 exposure has become more pronounced, even hostile, since the Minnesota State High School League restarted school sports programs.

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