Covid cases spike in YME school district

Jess Gorman
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune

At Yellow Medicine East School District Covid case numbers have spiked. The recent severity peaked when students were given a virtual learning day on Tuesday, October 19 due to not enough Covid free staff and positive case in both schools across multiple grades.

An update was sent to parents on October 19 that stated total positive case count in the district for the 2021-2022 school year to date was 91. In the October 25 update to families the number was 110.  This is a 17% increase in one week. The school year started on September 7 of 2021. As of the October 19 update there were 30 active cases at the High school and Middle school with 26 active cases at Bert Raney Elementary, by October 25 that had decreased to 24 in the High School and Middle School and 22 at BRE. Neighboring school district Montevideo had only 4 total positive cases as of October 26.

In the past two weeks grade level classrooms exposed to an active Covid case spanned: Preschool, Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, fourth grade and fith grade at Bert Raney. At the High School and Middle School all grade levels had exposure and active cases as well as 6th grade youth football, the homecoming event, Jr. High Boys Football and ABC Girls Volleyball.

The school district strongly recommends mask use however a mandate in not in place at this time.

 The YME School District reminded parents " Sending your child to school/events with symptoms dramatically increases risk of transmission if they end up testing positive for COVID-19. Please keep your kids home if they are having symptoms. We all want our students to have as much time in person as possible and these decisions contribute to our difficulty in providing in person learning and risks the health and safety of everyone."

The school also issued a reminder of the policy regarding positive tests, "Individuals who are positive for COVID-19 and still in their 10 day isolation period are NOT permitted to be on school grounds, attend school, or attend any school-affiliated functions. If you or your child are positive for COVID, you must stay home and away from others to prevent further transmission of the virus. - Unvaccinated household members (people who live in the same household as a positive case) must stay home and quarantine."

Parents of symptomatic students should be advised, YME School District has free testing options available through the school district. Onsite testing is available on a case-by-case basis & Abbott BinaxNOW at home Covid tests are available for any student experiencing symptoms.

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Those interested in accessing testing through the district are asked to contact Nurse Cassie via phone or email at or 320-564-4081 ext. 163. For other questions, Superintendent- Rich Schneider at or 320-564-4081.