Roseau County schools adjust to rising COVID case rate levels: False positives later identified

On Thursday, September 10, 2020 Minnesota Department of Health published their weekly 14-day Case Rate for Minnesota Counties which cover the period from August 16, 2020 through August 29, 2020. Roseau County’s Case Rate rose to 10.99. According to the State of Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan Guidelines, this indicates that Roseau County Schools may stay in person for elementary students but move to a hybrid model for high school students.

Each Roseau County School District has developed individual plans for a hybrid learning model. School hybrid learning models in Badger, Greenbush-Middle River and Warroad School Districts are able to bring all high school students to school each day making accommodations for increased safety measures. Roseau will be moving grades 7-12 to their hybrid model. This includes splitting students into two groups that will alternate attending school to accommodate the increased safety measures. Roseau School has sent parents and students their hybrid model learning plan.

The goal of the Minnesota Safe Learning Plan was to give schools flexibility to determine their learning model at the start of the school year. Additionally, school districts have been given guidelines as to when to switch between learning models but it is up to each district to determine if and when they adjust their learning model. Locally, each school district has been given more frequent and current Roseau County Case Rates and they have been working closely with LifeCare Public Health to monitor COVID-19 in Roseau County so that they have the most recent information to make these decisions.

For more information about Roseau County School Districts’ Safe Learning Plan, please access the appropriate school website.

Prior to press time on September 14, Guggisberg notified The Tribune of an announcement from Sue Grafstrom, the Roseau County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director. She announced how notification had been received from the lab that processes COVID tests for LifeCare that positive Roseau County cases were identified as negative. She explained how this lab processes many COVID tests in the upper Midwest, meaning Roseau County is not the only county impacted. She added how LifeCare would report the number and dates of these false positives soon.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 104 confirmed cases in Roseau County through September 15. Grafstrom mentioned how community and family gatherings can impact which learning model a county is in. It only takes an average of two cases per day over a two-week period to put the county “comfortably” in the middle school and high school hybrid learning model and 2.5 cases per day to put the entire K-12 grade level into a hybrid learning model.

To see the complete story, read the September 16 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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