During the past three weeks, rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in our communities have impacted hundreds of families. For the first time, we are seeing evidence of the virus spreading within our schools, and the Minnesota Department of Health reports that at least 60 percent of positive cases right now are a variant.
Our goal is to keep students in school. We had a good start at returning to in-person learning when conditions were more stable, but want to prepare for a bumpy ride moving forward.
Protecting time-honored, once-in-a-lifetime student activities is a top priority. However, some events may be virtual. Student Awards Night, for example, typically draws 500 people, but if we go virtual for that event, we can do our part to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
We are also prioritizing health and safety, and we will be hosting a Family Vaccination Clinic at Princeton High School on April 28 for people 16-years-old and older. A parent or guardian must be present to provide parental consent for students younger than 18-years-old. Follow this link to register for the vaccine clinic: https://prepmod.health.state.mn.us//reg/0666251989
The Minnesota Department of Health emphasizes that now is not the time to let up on personal safety measures. Their tracking shows that counties in Central Minnesota make up the top eight counties in the state for positive COVID-19 cases. Our rates in Mille Lacs and Sherburne county are 5 times higher now than February.
Continue wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining safe distances and staying at home if you don’t feel well. In all of our schools, we are doing everything we can and following recommended procedures to stay in-person. There may be times when many people are quarantined, in effort to avoid an outbreak which may require pause and shift to distance learning. At this time, our intent is to stay the course with full everyday in-person learning and will do everything in our power to finish the year this way. We will keep students, families and staff informed.