Mankato schools will continue with hybrid learning after COVID-19 case rate increase

(Mankato, MN) – Mankato Area Public Schools will continue with hybrid learning after a report from state health officials showed a jump in the local COVID-19 case rate.

According to a report released by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday, Blue Earth County’s case rate for the period from August 23 to September 5 was 57, an increase from 44 last week.

Case rates are determined by the number of  COVID-19 cases per 10,000 people.

MDH recommends that school districts based in counties with a case rate of 50 or more utilize distance learning for students in all grades.  MAPS started the school year off with hybrid learning, a decision made in August.

In a press release, the district said MDH’s guidelines are not the sole factor that determines the learning delivery method.

Together with the regional support team and the MAPS COVID-19 Command Team, school officials also looked at current infection rates in the county, local communities, and in the school district.  MDH’s Infectious Disease Expert Kris Ehresman has also been in close contact with MAPS.

The release says that the surge in infection rates is due to the return of college students to the area, and the free COVID-19 testing event earlier this month.  Infection numbers are expected to decline, according to the release.

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