Minneapolis Public Schools canceling all ‘non-essential activities’

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Minneapolis Public Schools will be canceling all "non-essential activities" effective Friday, the school district announced Thursday night.

According to a news release, those activities include plays, concerts, field trips, science fairs, fundraisers and any "large-group activities." The cancellations come amid growing concerns over the novel coronavirus.

Minnesota Department of Health recommends schools remain open during COVID-19 outbreak

While activities are canceled, class will remain in session until further notice, according to the release. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have recommended that schools remain open, but focusing on community mitigation was the next step.

Community mitigation practices include social distancing, altering school schedules to reduce students mixing and considering distance or online learning, according to Kris Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division at MDH.

Osseo Area Schools is also canceling school-sponsored activities starting Friday and going through the end of spring break, April 12. Those activities are described as anything that brings parents and other community members into school facilities and anything that brings students out into the community.

Superintendents from St. Cloud Area School District, Sartell-St. Stephen School District and Sauk Rapids-Rice School District also announced that until further notice:

  • Only district personnel will be permitted inside schools (no visitors or volunteers)
  • All school-sponsored public and family events and activities are canceled, except for middle and high school practices for activities and athletics
  • All field trips and school-sponsored travel is suspended
  • Community education classes are canceled and fees will be refunded
  • Use of district facilities will be limited to practices only

Those districts also said they’ll follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relating to COVID-19.

Disruptions due to COVID-19 outbreak