Over the past two weeks, Blue Earth county’s COVID-19 cases per ten thousand residents have reached a level that distance learning would be recommended according to the state’s safe learning plan. What about the school districts that encompass multiple counties? The question was asked of Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcom.

“We do suggest that the county with the highest (COVID-19) prevalence should be the basis for the discussion,” said Malcom.

MDH Infectious Disease Expert Kris Ehresman says they’ve been in close contact with the Mankato Area Public School District. She says the cases per ten thousand numbers are designed to be a starting point for the conversation.

“We’re looking at what’s happening in the community as well as the school level,” said Ehresman. “But we also need to take into account what may be driving any increases.”

Ehresman says the high number of cases at Minnesota State and the recent testing event held in Mankato are factors they consider when making such recommendations.