More COVID-19 cases at Highland and CHS, more doses for teachers

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Six new positive COVID-19 cases were reported in Crookston Public Schools last week leading to the quarantine of a classroom. Five positive cases were reported at Highland Elementary and one at Crookston High School.

    The Times reached out to Superintendent Jeremy Olson for comment and asked if email notifications announcing positive cases have been discontinued. Olson said the district was never required to put out a notice about positive cases and, now, people can get the cumulative cases of COVID-19 at Crookston Public Schools information from the district website: crookston.k12.mn.us/covid-19

    Since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, from September 8 to January 10, there were a total of 27 positive cases with two reported at Washington Elementary, seven at Highland, 17 at CHS and one at the ALP. There were no positive cases from January 11 to January 25, and there have been no new cases reported in February. Olson said information on the COVID page on the district website is updated within a few hours of reports.

TEACHER VACCINE UPDATE

    Olson gave the Times an update on teacher vaccinations saying they’ve been allotted 28 additional vaccinations which will now be administered by Polk County Public Health at Highland Elementary. He calls the previous allotted amount of 36 a “chaotic mess” after a link got out statewide and not all 36 received by the district were able to be used.

    “By the time we registered the spots were taken and we only got 2/3 of the 36,” he explained. “Now, the state is allowing 35 counties to use their own public health department for vaccine administration.”

    “We’re very glad to have Polk County Public Health involved now as we’ve sidelined the experts before,” Olson added. “We have all the resources to vaccinate, we just need the vaccines.”

    He noted that the state’s previous plan was “difficult to follow” and “changed every time” they looked.

    The Crookston School District is now working on their vaccination priority list and, Olson said, they’ve told teachers to get the vaccine somewhere else if they’re able to rather than wait.