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Albert Lea schools reports first case of COVID-19

Albert Lea Area Schools has reported its first lab-confirmed COVID-19 case of the school year at Albert Lea High School.

Albert Lea Superintendent Mike Funk said the case was brought to the district’s attention through daily screening procedures of staff and students, which are reviewed by nurses every morning.

The district was notified of the lab results Friday evening. He could not release information about whether the individual was a student or staff member.

Funk said through contact tracing, the district identified eight people who were exposed to the individual within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Those people have been quarantined for 14 days. According to Minnesota Department of Health protocols, no other individuals in the building were impacted. Janitorial staff conducted a deep clean of the building and classrooms on Friday.

The superintendent said half of the high school staff and students were provided information regarding the incident on Monday in person, while the other half of students were given the information Tuesday. The high school also sent out a mass notification to families Tuesday morning.

“We remain confident that our daily screening questions of students and staff, use of our thermal scanners and proactive approach from our nursing staff will continue to allow Albert Lea Area Schools to operate in a safe manner during this pandemic,” Funk said.

He noted the district is appreciative of its partnership with the Freeborn County Public Health Department and Minnesota Department of Health on this issue.

Information about COVID-19, including the number of cases in the school district, can be found on the district website at alschools.org.