Mankato Area Public Schools are seeing a large increase in COVID cases at the secondary level.
As of yesterday, they had 29 newly confirmed positive cases and 383 reported quarantined cases due to close contact across the district. The school says they are working closely with the South Central Regional Support Team as they see increased positive cases throughout our region.
In a statement, the district says, “While we are committed to taking a number of safety precautions in our schools, it is difficult to control what is happening in the community. Everyone would like to move beyond this pandemic, but we are not yet past it. The more vigilant everyone is in preventing the spread of the virus, the longer we can keep our schools open. That is our goal, but as always, local data will drive our decisions. If the pace of the most recent spread continues, we will be left with no other choice but to move to more restrictive learning models in some schools. ”
MDH is seeing growth in the presence of COVID-19 variants around the state, and has released more information about one large and growing outbreak of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant identified in the Southwest Metro region. . COVID-19 variant strains have been identified in multiple counties, including in Blue Earth County. The school’s Regional Support Team has also confirmed that we are dealing with a new COVID variant that is a rapid spreader. They have confirmed that it has been in the Mankato region for several weeks now, and at least one Mankato school case has been identified as a match.