Owatonna Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Elstad provided a mid-month update on the status the learning models being used in regard to coronavirus numbers. In a report dated October 15, 2020, Elstad states that Owatonna schools "remains in our current learning model for all elementary and secondary schools." He also indicates, "For this past week, two positive cases were reported in the Owatonna Public Schools."

Elstad elaborates, "So far, the cases that have been reported are not clustered into any one school or grade level. Social distancing, wearing face coverings/masks, washing hands and cleaning protocols have been important to prevent the spread of COVID-19." During his recent Coffee and Conversation session he said there had been three confirmed cases as well. He said he believed those students were not infectious in a building.

He invites school district residents to check the schools' COVID response website for more "information regarding our safe learning plan. When a positive case is reported, families and staff are notified by the school district, MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) or both win information on next steps."

Elstad reminds families to "please continue to do everything you can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. We understand the difficulties it places on families when students can't attend school, but it is very important that we continue working together to minimize the potential spread of the disease in school buildings."

Students should be kept home when they are sick, if they are being tested for COVID and are waiting for results, or if someone in the household is sick and being tested for the coronavirus.

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Red Ribbon Week is the annual drug prevention week and will be held October 26-30 with special kick-off event on Thursday, October 22 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm in the Foundation Building on the fairgrounds. Families can drive through with the students, who can be in costume, to get a bag of treats, get their picture taken, and enter a drawing for prizes.

The Foundation Building will be decorated for fall. Find out more about Red Ribbon Week.

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