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A Note from Your District Nurse

November 24, 2020

Hello! I hope you are getting settled into your new routine for distance learning. I wanted to take this opportunity to point out some great resources and new changes for your health and safety in relation to COVID-19. 

As most of you know, Governor Tim Walz issued a new Executive Order 20-99 from Saturday, Nov. 21 through Friday, Dec. 18, which requires all Minnesotans to:

  • Limit social gatherings to one household.
  • Not gather outside of your household.
  • Postpone all celebrations, events, receptions, and parties, including any social gatherings for weddings and funerals.

Learn more about the Dial Back, Minnesota order at https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/stay-safe-mn/stay-safe-plan.jsp

New Testing Recommendations

As Minnesota starts a new dial-back period to slow the state’s alarming rate of COVID-19 transmission and prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials are issuing updated testing recommendations on who needs to be tested, when to be tested, and which option may be best.

It is now recommended that you get tested for COVID-19 if you meet these requirements:

  • Anyone with symptoms should seek out testing immediately.
  • Anyone who was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should get tested.
  • Anyone who is still working at places that remain open during Dial Back, Minnesota (four-week pause) should get tested. This includes critical infrastructure, first responders, health care, retail, child care, etc. 

Here is more information in regards to these changes: New testing recommendations 

COVID-19 Reporting During Distance Learning 

Even during distance learning, Westonka staff and families should continue to follow the district’s COVID-19 reporting process. Please contact me or your school’s health office if any of the following apply:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19
  • You are identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19

When you contact Westonka’s health services team with a COVID-related concern, we will support your family by going over the quarantine/isolation timeline, reviewing testing protocol and/or assisting in contact tracing. Westonka Schools is committed to helping control the spread of COVID-19 in our community, which is the best way to get our students back in school in 2021.

District/MWHS Nurse Kelly Mattson
mattsonk@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8104

Grandview Health Specialist Raiya Larson
larsonr@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8304

Shirley Hills Health Specialist Kathy Rothenberger
rothenbergerk@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8404

Hilltop Health Specialist Dana Kraay
kraayd@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8504 

Positive Case Notifications: We will be discontinuing school-level COVID-19 notifications during the distance learning period, but our health services staff will continue to individually contact anyone who has been identified as a COVID-19 close contact and provide them with quarantine instructions.

The Westonka Schools COVID-19 Dashboard will continue to be updated weekly on Wednesdays. Keep in mind, the dashboard only tracks confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in school buildings while infectious and may not be an accurate representation of cases impacting our school community during distance learning.

Travel

I have received many questions in regards to traveling over the holiday break. It is especially important this year to find safer ways to celebrate the holidays and help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Out-of-state travel is highly discouraged. Incoming visitors and Minnesotans who travel out-of-state are asked to stay home (quarantine) for 14 days. During those 14 days, it is important that you watch for symptoms and stay home if you become sick. For information on testing, visit Find Testing Locations or Test at Home. If you have to go somewhere, wear a mask, stay 6 feet from people, and wash your hands often. 

Another Way to Help Slow the Spread

MDH has launched the free COVIDaware MN app, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to notify you if you have been exposed to COVID-19, so you can reduce the risk of infection for your friends, family and neighbors, and help Minnesota slow the spread. Go to covidawaremn.com to learn more and download the app.

My sincerest wishes for a healthy holiday season for you and your family. 

Kelly Mattson, District Nurse
mattsonk@westonka.k12.mn.us
(952) 491-8104