School COVID-19 spread remains high in Minnesota
October 8, 2021
Coronavirus infections linked to pre-K-12 schools have surged in the first month of classes, but health and education leaders remain confident that Minnesota can weather the latest pandemic wave with more mask-wearing and testing and fewer building closures and quarantines.
The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday reported 1,973 infections in pre-K-12 buildings in the week ending Sept. 25, and 2,525 in the week before that - the highest totals since the start of the pandemic. The state also reported 405 outbreaks in which five or more students or staff members were in the same school building while infectious over a two-week period. That is an increase from 232 last week.
Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday visited Carver Elementary School in Maplewood to highlight its testing and other strategies for reducing viral spread. The school, along with others in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale District 622, requires mask-wearing and installs air purifiers in classrooms. It also uses surveillance testing every two weeks of staff members to spot any unknown infections and gives rapid take-home tests to students with suspicious symptoms and to members of their households.