COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 information other languages: Hmoob - Español - Soomaali

On July 30, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-82 to implement Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. This plan uses a localized, data-driven approach that allows school districts and charter schools to operate in a learning model that is responsive the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in their community. The plan prioritizes safe learning for all Minnesota students, including requiring school districts and charter schools to give families the option to choose distance learning for their student no matter which learning model their school is implementing.

Families can learn more about what the plan means for them here.

Governor Walz is making $430 million available to school districts and charter schools to help them prepare for the 2020-21 school year. These funds can be used to cover operational costs (ex: cleaning and screen supplies, technology, Wi-Fi, and mental health supports) and support to boost student, family, and educator support (ex: digital training, tutors, translation services, professional development).

Consistent with guidance from the CDC, Minnesota has strongly recommended widespread use of face coverings since April. On July 22, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-81 requiring face coverings in all indoor public spaces in Minnesota, including K-12 school buildings.

Because this is such an important mitigation strategy, we are ensuring all public school students and staff have the face coverings they need for in-person and hybrid learning. Minnesota will provide the following supplies to all public schools:

  • Every K-12 student will receive one cloth face covering
  • Every school staff member will receive one cloth face covering
  • Every school will receive three disposable face masks per student
  • Every school will receive face shields for all licensed teachers and 50% of non-licensed staff

Minnesota has also secured a contract with a national saliva testing lab and will work with all insurers to ensure that all educators have access to a COVID-19 test from day one. This test can be conducted at home and uses a courier for transport. This ensures that in the case where an educator has close contact with a confirmed case and experiences any challenges getting tested in their community, there is a back-up option.

Under Executive Order 20-82, school districts and charter schools must provide care for school-age children age 12 and under who are children of critical workers on Tier I of the state critical worker list, during a hybrid or distance learning model when students are not receiving in-person instruction. This care must be provided during regular school hours at no cost. Additionally, regardless of learning model, the school district or charter school must continue to provide meals to students during the school day to the extent possible, utilizing all waivers and flexibilities provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

School districts and charter schools must adhere to the health requirements and recommendations in MDH 2020-21 Planning Guidance for Schools and should consult MDE 2020-21 Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools as plans for each scenario are developed.

MDE has also created a guide to give families a quick overview of the education and health planning guidance that schools are using to plan for the 2020-21 school year. This document is intended to help families know what information they should expect from their child’s school. The guide is available in English, Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish on the Supporting Students and Families COVID-19 Resources page.

Stay Updated

Check this page often to track school-related updates on the COVID-19 response. You can sign up to receive email notifications when this page is updated. We have also added sub-pages to help organize the COVID-19 information. Find up-to-date program guidance on these topics in the left navigation, or use the links provided below:

COVID-19 Public Health Information

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and is coordinating with other state and local agencies to share information and updates. MDH has a web page dedicated to information related to schools. This is an evolving situation, so check back to the MDH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website often for the latest information. For assistance with health-related questions about the coronavirus outbreak, email the Minnesota Department of Health.

Guidance for Districts and Schools