“It’s important to be transparent with our community at large so that way we’re having a holistic approach and looking at it statewide response to how our schools are doing,” Heather Mueller, Deputy Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Education said.
This new data is something that Mueller says tracks positive cases inside schools, not positive cases of students or teachers who participate in distance learning.
Mueller says if a school has five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, they will remain on the list for 28 days.
“You have an opportunity to see what this is looking like in a statewide view. Often times you have a sense of what’s happening in your school community but you don’t know what it looks like across the state. This really gives you an indicator of what it looks like across the state,” Mueller said.
Albert Lea High School is among the schools listed. The district canceled all in-person learning for a week last month after a spike in cases. Superintendent Mike Funk tells ABC 6 news that students have returned to in-person learning this week.
The Minnesota Department of Health says they have several regional support teams around the state to offer guidance on how to handle positive COVID-19 cases.
In addition, if a district changes its learning model, it can be tracked.
“I think this dashboard gives you the opportunity to see where your school district is and where it compares to other school districts whether they were in your same region what it looks like county by county if you’re able to take a look at districts similar to yours,” Mueller said.
For any district after 28 days, the school has no more confirmed cases; they will be removed from the list.