Positive COVID case causes quarantine for some at Highland Elementary

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

A positive COVID-19 case at Highland Elementary has caused some students to have to quarantine at home. On the district’s case dashboard one positive case at Highland was reported the week of September 13-19 and one case was reported for Washington Elementary September 6-12.

Superintendent Jeremy Olson confirmed the positive case and quarantine requirement to the Times, and mentioned only students from that particular class who have not been wearing a mask have had to quarantine - which accounted for a majority of the class. 

Olson says a student or staff member that was in close contact with someone who has tested COVID positive will have to quarantine for two weeks (14 days) or a total of seven days if they get tested after a certain amount of days after exposure and that test is negative. 

“Distance learning is provided for those students that have to quarantine,” he also confirmed. “If a student has been wearing a mask to school every day and have been wearing it properly over the nose and mouth they do not have to quarantine.”

When asked if the district could soon change from a health and safety level 2 to level 3 requiring masks for grades K-6, Olson said he is keeping a close eye on the community transmission rates and is consulting frequently with Polk County Public Health but hasn’t made that determination at this time. He added that he does encourage mask use for many reasons, but at this time it is not mandated. 

In a parent communication letter sent by Olson on September 16, he said, "While Crookston Public School’s current plan is to recommend and not require masks, I am asking parents to please consider sending your grades K-6 students in masks for the following reasons:

• This will help to avoid student learning loss due to quarantines.

• This helps reduce the spread of COVID 19 and therefore helps keep our schools operational and open for in person learning.

Olson also said that students and staff who are properly wearing a mask do not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic and that students and staff who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic.

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