Minnesota Officials Prepare to Announce Fall School Plans


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State health and education officials will announce plans Thursday for how Minnesota schools will conduct classes this fall after they were shut down this spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller will join the Minnesota Department of Health officials at an afternoon briefing to discuss “the new fall planning guidance for K-12 schools.”

The news conference announcement did not say whether they’ll allow schools to reopen this fall, keep them closed, or some other steps for conducting classes amid the pandemic. But the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations in Minnesota have been leveling off lately.

Gov. Tim Walz gave the order in mid-March for Minnesota public and charter schools to close and switch to distance learning as coronavirus cases were just starting to show up in the state. That order affected nearly 900,000 students and their families. The governor followed his school closure order with a statewide stay-at-home order later in March.

The governor later extended the closure through the school year and essentially banned large-scale high school and college graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 as the number of coronavirus cases in Minnesota grew.

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