Pacelli closes school Thursday, Friday because of rising COVID cases

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Approximately 450 active cases in the county


Due to a large amount of COVID-19 cases coming out of the holiday break, Pacelli Catholic Schools on Wednesday announced that it would cancel school both Thursday and Friday of this week.

The move comes after post-holiday explosion of cases around the nation, state and locally, driven by highly virulent omicron variant, Particularly in Mower County, which is currently listed as a high transmission area.

At Pacelli we have also seen a steep rise in cases following Christmas break, we currently have 7 confirmed positive cases of COVID – 19, 5 families awaiting testing, and more than thirty students who are quarantining as a result of these positive cases,” said Principal Kane Malo in a letter to parents. “Due to this incline in cases impacting Pacelli we want to inform you of a decision that falls heavy on our hearts.”

The letter also states that following these next two days, school officials will meet to address their COVID Preparedness Plan and what that means for the future.

“We expect to have updated information for families in our weekly announcements on Friday, January 7th, 2022,” the letter said. “Pacelli is committed to taking the steps necessary to help everyone return to school safely after the Christmas holiday.”

Mower County saw a big spike of cases coming into the new year including 219 on Jan. 4, which would have also accounted for the weekend numbers as well. According to Mower County Public Health Division Manager Pam Kellogg on Thursday, there were approximately 450 cases currently active in the county.

Today, the Minnesota Department of Health reported another 40 cases of COVID-19 for Mower — six confirmed and 34 probable. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mower has had 8,252 cases and 56 deaths.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control reported 828,417 new cases in the United States, while in Minnesota there were 16,204 cases reported

As part of steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our school open, we ask you to please continue to monitor yourselves on a daily basis,” Malo said in the letter. “Our health and screening form is attached as a resource and side regarding symptoms. Please do NOT come to school if you have symptoms, and reach out to the school to report positive and probable positive COVID-19 cases.”

While the school will close for the rest of the week, the school’s Shamrock Zone will be open both days.

Masks will be required for any child who attends. Parents need to contact Marie Viker, the Director of Early Childhood Education and Shamrock, to notify the school of your intention to send your children.