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I admit it. I'm Minnesota Tough. I have gone to work when I felt 'under the weather.' Usually nothing more than a few sniffles. But maybe sometimes a sore throat too. I would go to school, back in the day, when maybe I should have stayed home. In fact, I graduated with someone who didn't miss a day of school. Ever.

During a pandemic, that approach might not be too wise.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging parents to keep their children home from school if they are sick and to follow guidance from schools. In a news release, infectious disease director at the MDH Kris Ehresmann says, "Staying home when you feel sick of have been exposed are some of the best defenses we have against COVID-19. The exclusion guidance helps people understand when they need to keep their children home from school or child care."

"Whether it's parents and families, or teachers and child care staff, the attendance and exclusion guidance and home screening tool is a proven prevention method to stop spread in our child cares and school."

As school districts across Minnesota open with a variety of learning models, the health department indicates "school officials are already reporting issues of families feeling confused and hearing conflicting messages on then their kids can attend in-person," according to the news release.

"The biggest thing we want people to understand is that any Minnesotan - including children - who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 needs to stay home for a minimum of 14 days," Ehresmann added.