The Governor's Emergency Executive Order 20-83 authorizing the Commissioner of Education in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health to provide assistance to school plans this fall says school districts must use county data to formulate their plans.

In Rice County Faribault has 81.8% of the COVID-19 cases.  Northfield has 13.6% of cases. According to the Minnesota Department of Health 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools the number used to determine what mode of operation districts are in is the 14 day case rate per 10,000 people.

  • In-person learning for all students case rate per 10,000 people 0-10.
  • Elementary in-person, MIddle/high school hybrid              rate  10 to less than 20
  • Both hybrid                                                                         rate  20 to less than 30
  • Elementary hybrid, MIddle/high school distance                rate  30 to less than 50
  • Both distance                                                                      rate  50 or more

Here is a listing of the most recent 14 day case rate per 10,000 people for area counties.  These can change a lot between now and the start of school.

  • Rice County       10.19
  • Goodhue             4.54
  • Steele                 14.45
  • Dakota                16.79
  • Dodge                 12.63
  • Le Sueur             22.87
  • Waseca              15.95
  • Scott                   20.99
  • Wabasha            12.09

Here is Minnesota Department of Health information about the current Cumulative Percent of Tests Positive by County of Residence.

  • Rice                      5.3%
  • Goodhue              5.9%
  • Steele                   4.4%
  • Dakota                  7.0%
  • Dodge                   2.9%
  • Le Sueur               5.0%
  • Waseca                3.5%
  • Scott                     6.5%
  • Wabasha              2.2%

The Minnesota Department of Health wants to use the 14 day COVID-19 county case rate because it's more of an indicator of the current trend.  That changes with time.  For example Rice County 14 day case rate per 10,000 people at the end of May into mid-June (2 weeks) was 31.63 the next two week periods go like this:  25.09, 17.64, 14.45, 13.23 and the latest 10.19.

The Governor's Executive Order requires districts to have their opening of schools plan made public by a week before school starts in their district.

In the Emergency Executive Order 20-82 Governor Tim Walz lists 38 directives for schools.  Under number 4 he says districts must have their plan, "made at least two weeks prior to the start of their respective school year calendar."

Under number 22 he says, "Districts and charter schools must electronically post and communicate their plans for in-person learning, hybrid learning, and distance learning plans to students and their families no later than one week before the beginning of their respective 2020-21 school year."