Five Eden Prairie schools are now listed on the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of school facilities reporting five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff over a two-week reporting period.On the list as of Oct. 21 are Central Middle School, Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion, Eden Lake Elementary, Oak Point Elementary, and Prairie View Elementary.
Eden Prairie Schools’ (EPS’) COVID-19 dashboard reported 77 cases as of the two-week period ending Oct. 22, down from 97 the previous two-week period. Fifty-two of those cases were among students in pre-K through 5th grade, 19 were in grades 6-12 (including TASSEL), and six were staff members. The largest decline was reported in older students. There are 8,976 students and 1,825 staff in the district.
No new COVID-19 mitigation plans have been announced by district officials.
“We have never stopped being concerned since March of 2020, when the pandemic first started affecting school operations,” said EPS spokesman Brett Johnson when asked if the number of schools reaching the MDH reporting threshold was raising concerns with district officials, or if any changes to the district’s Safe Learning Plan were being considered.
“If there are any changes to district procedures, they will be communicated directly to all families via email,” he added.
Safe Learning Plan
EPS’ Safe Learning Plan requires students and staff in preschool through 6th grade to wear face coverings when indoors. The plan recommends face coverings for students and staff in 7th through 12th grade, but they are not required.
According to the plan:
- Face coverings are required for all staff when they can’t maintain six feet of social distance.
- Fully vaccinated staff who can maintain social distance may remove their face covering “when it supports educational outcomes.”
- Face coverings are required for all visitors who cannot maintain six feet of social distance. Unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a face covering.
- All students and staff on school buses and other vehicles are required to wear a face covering.
The plan recommends parents keep their children home if they aren’t feeling well. It also recommends getting COVID-19 vaccinations for those who are eligible, but does not require them.
Someone living with an individual who has COVID-19 should quarantine during the time that person might be contagious, as well as the time that they could develop COVID-19, which could total up to 24 days, according to the plan.
Someone who is exposed but is fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine if the COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed, and they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Quarantine is also not required if someone is exposed but has had a laboratory-documented case of COVID-19 in the past 90 days and does not currently have symptoms.
School buildings on the MDH list that have not reported a new case for 28 days will be removed from the list, according to the MDH website. If five or more cases are reported in a school building in a subsequent two-week period, they will be listed again.
More than 500 school buildings throughout Minnesota are listed on the site, which is updated every Thursday.
Cases are counted when infected persons were in the building during the reporting period.
School buildings listed may not have ongoing transmission, according to the MDH website.
Case rate data
Hennepin County reported that Eden Prairie’s COVID-19 case rate per 10,000 residents was 44.6 as of Oct. 21. That compares to 38.2 per 10,000 when school started Sept. 8. The rate was 5.5 cases per 10,000 residents on June 7, 2021.
As of Oct. 14, Eden Prairie reported a total of 6,469 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths, according to county data.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Oct. 22 to reflect new Eden Prairie Schools COVID-19 Dashboard information.