Mask up

Eastern Carver County Schools announced that masks will continue to be required through the end of October all students and staff on Oct. 14.

Students in pre-K through sixth grade already were required to wear masks through the month.

The district announced last month that a mask mandate would be in place for students in grades 7-12 through Oct. 15, and at that time officials would study trends to determine whether to extend the timeline or not.

"Unfortunately, COVID numbers both at the county level and in our district have continued to rise, and remain above the 50 cases per 10,000 residents threshold for masking for all students. As a result we are extending the masking requirement for our grades 7-12+ students through the end of the month," superintendent Lisa Sayles-Adams said in a release.

All students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, will continue to be required to wear masks through the end of October.

The latest numbers, available on the school district's Safe Learning Plan page -- the data dashboard updated daily -- a 14-day case rate of 65.5, which is approaching the last spring's spike in cases in April.

The case rate last November was roughly 170.

As of Oct. 14, 276 students are in active quarantine, or about three percent of the district. Additionally, three staff members are in quarantine as well.

A total of 150 confirmed cases of COVID have been reported in District 112 dating back to the first day of school on Sept. 7, 2021. The positive news is the district saw a steep reduction in confirmed cases from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 (35) to the recent time period of Oct. 7 to 13 (18).

ECCS schools with the most confirmed cases have been Chaska High School (31), Pioneer Ridge Middle School (22) and Chaska Middle School West (20).

"Our priorities throughout this year have been to keep our school communities safe, healthy, and learning in-person, and this is the most effective strategy to ensure that can continue to happen," Sayles-Adams said in the release. "As we approach the holiday season, let us all do what we can to slow the spread of the virus, bring our local numbers down, and roll back these protocols, which is what we all want for our children."