BELTRAMI COUNTY TEENAGER IS SECOND STUDENT TO DIE FROM COVID-19 THIS SCHOOL YEAR

A second student has died this school year of a COVID-19 infection associated with schools, according to the weekly update of virus activity in the state released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

“This is tragic news and I hope Minnesotans can pull together and do all we can to prevent another student from dying of this virus,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “We must stay strong and do all we can do to make school buildings safe places to learn and work.” 

The state health department reports three students have died of COVID-19 infections associated with schools since the pandemic began. Eighteen school staff members have also died, including 10 in the current school year. The data includes students and staff in all types of schools – traditional public, charter, and private. 

The weekly report does not include identifying information about the students and staff who have been sickened or died. However, since the previous weekly report, the health department reported a Beltrami County teenager with a pre-existing medical condition had died of COVID-19.  

Education Minnesota has called on the department to release anonymous summary information about the school staff members who have died and the more than 450 students and staff members who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. This information would help school district decision-makers improve safety protocols for students and staff. 

The health department’s weekly report is available here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/stats/