Tracy schools keep close eye on COVID trends as case number reaches 19

By Per Peterson

As of Tuesday, the Tracy Area Public School District had 19 active staff and student positive COVID-19 cases — a 2.4% positive rate in pre-K through the 12th grade — and the number of cases in Lyon County have been slowly rising over the last two weeks.

TAPS Supt. Chad Anderson said Tuesday that the majority of the current positive cases are at the elementary school; according to quarantine timelines, most of those people will be back on Oct. 25, following EM break.

“Our goal is to help diagnose positive COVID cases of students as soon as possible so we can try and mitigate the spread of COVID in the schools and get children back as soon as they are no longer contagious,” Anderson said. “The parents are appreciating the rapid testing for children with symptoms.”

Anderson said that test is reliable only if children have symptoms, otherwise they should use a different test.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the district is asking for parents’ cooperation in the following ways to avoid having to alter its current learning plan:

1. Keep your child home if they are ill.

2. Give your child a COVID-19 test if they are experiencing one more common symptom or two less common symptoms, according to the Minnesota Department of Health Decision Tree, which is located on the front page of the Tracy Area Public Schools website in the blue COVID-19 information box.   

3. Tracy Area Public Schools has “Binax NOW” tests available for students who have symptoms. This test is to only be used for children that are having symptoms. Parents can contact TAPS nurse Ashley Swan at 629-5500 to pick up the test. The test comes with instructions, is easy to administer, is free, and results are available within 15 minutes. Parents can also take their child to other testing areas for a COVID test as well.

4. Students who have a pending COVID test are not allowed to return to school until the test results are completed. Students who receive negative results will be able to return to school after consulting with school nurse Ashley Swan.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.