Breckenridge High School manages cluster of 5 COVID-19 cases

In Wilkin County, there are 27 active COVID-19 cases and one new death, according to the weekly report on Thursday, Oct. 15. There have been a total of 108 cases in the county to date.

Breckenridge High School appeared on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website as having five or more confirmed cases in a student or staff member within a two-week period as of Thursday, Oct. 15. The list is updated each Thursday.

Breckenridge School District Superintendent Diane Cordes said the five students who tested positive at the high school have already completed their quarantine period, and the school chose to move to distance learning this week to ensure there were no more confirmed coronavirus cases.

The school district works with a regional support team organized by the Minnesota Department of Health. The team is composed of epidemiologists, health specialists and a testing specialist, who get updated case numbers daily.

If new cases arise, the team immediately informs the school district, Cordes said. The regional support team primarily looks for clusters of cases that can be contact traced back to a common origin.

“The first five cases, there was a common origination, and that’s what tipped the scale for us to make these moves,” Cordes said of the decision to switch to distance learning this week.

Cordes said there have been no new cases at the school related to the original five as of Thursday.

Also as of Oct. 15, grades 10-12 will return to on-campus classes Monday, Oct. 19. If something changes before then, Cordes said the school will notify students and families through their instant message system, and the update will be posted on their website.

In Wilkin County, there are 27 active COVID-19 cases and one new death, according to Thursday's report. There have been a total of 108 cases in the county as of Oct. 15.

The positive case rate in Wilkin County has increased slightly from last week to 5.3 percent, according to the newest report. The statewide positive case rate is 5.2 percent. A total of 1,838 COVID-19 tests have been completed in Wilkin County, the report stated.

There are 117,106 cases in the state of Minnesota, 1,169 of them newly reported as of Oct. 15. There were 19 new deaths reported Thursday, compared to 29 on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

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