By PFund Foundation Grant Writer, Kate Mohn of Obvio Group
Every August, the back-to-school season arrives with backpacks and notebooks suddenly becoming prominent at the store, the very first leaves starting to turn yellow, and the hot, humid dog days of late summer.
This year, though, the back-to-school season is filled with extra uncertainty and anxiety, as students, teachers, and families are all trying to navigate how to stay safe in the classroom as the country undergoes yet another surge in COVID-19 cases, this time fueled by the Delta variant.
There are several things that families can do to help keep our communities safe as we are about to begin the third academic year of the pandemic:
Get tested regularly! The Minnesota Department of Education encourages all students and their families to get a free, COVID-19 test every two weeks to help prevent the spread of the virus. Anyone can have COVID-19 and not know it. Getting tested is the best way to know you are healthy and allow schools to offer in-person learning and extracurricular opportunities, especially with the increasing spread of virus variants in our state. As long as students don’t have symptoms and have not been close to someone with COVID-19, they do not need to quarantine while awaiting test results. The State of Minnesota has provided COVID-19 saliva test kits for any middle school, high school and organized sports team through the state’s partnership with Vault Health. Students are also currently able to send their Vault at-home tests back to the lab through their schools. If students are sick, they should get a test from one of Minnesota’s free community testing sites or through their health care provider.
If your student is unable to take part in our on-site COVID-19 testing event, there are many other options to get tested at no cost. Families can visit one of Minnesota’s free community testing sites, get tested through a healthcare provider, or order an at-home test kit. In-person or language line assistance is available at community testing sites. Some testing sites also have COVID Community Coordinators to help walk people through the testing process.
The Latest on COVID-19 in Minnesota
All eligible Minnesotans can now walk in for a COVID-19 vaccine at the state’s Community Vaccination Program locations. Find the location that’s right for your family by clicking here.
Regional Information Links (IA, ND, SD, WI)