The Free Press

ST. JAMES — St. James Middle/High School will transition indefinitely to full-time remote learning starting Sept. 28.

The change is prompted by rising COVID-19 cases within the district and in Watonwan County, Supt. Steven Heil said in an announcement.

Multiple people connected to the school have tested positive and others are on quarantine, the announcement states. It does not specify how many students and staff have been impacted.

Watonwan County had a coronavirus infection rate of nearly 44 per 10,000 residents between Aug. 23 and Sept. 5. The state recommends secondary schools move to distance learning if the rate is 30 or higher.

Heil warned that the elementary school also could move to a remote format if the rate climbs much higher. State guidelines suggest elementary schools do so if the rate reaches 50 per 10,000.

“We need people associated with our learning community to practice social distancing, not gather in large groups, and be more diligent with their travels,” Heil wrote.

“We are our own solution to preventing the spread within our community and reopening and maintaining our schools for our children.”

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