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COVID-19 Response

Owatonna Public Schools will use a "scalpel" approach when making decisions within buildings in the district. Using this approach, we closely monitor every building in the district on a daily basis to keep our students and staff safe.  Decisions are based on several pieces of data, including the percentage of COVID-like symptoms and confirmed cases within our school sites. In addition, recommendations from Steele County Public Health are reviewed and considered.

September 15, 2021
% of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at School Sites:

 Lincoln Elementary 0.9%
 McKinley Elementary 0%
 Washington Elementary 0.9%
 Wilson Elementary 0%
 Owatonna Middle School 1.4%
 Owatonna High School 0.5%
 OEC 1.1%


Social distancing, wearing face coverings/masks, washing hands and cleaning protocols have been important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When a positive case is reported, families and staff are notified by the school district, MDH or both with information on next steps.

Please do everything you can to help manage the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community. We understand the difficulties it places on families when students can’t attend school, but it is very important that we continue working together to minimize the potential spread of the disease in school buildings.

COVID-19 Basic Principles:

  • Sick students, teachers and staff should not come to school.
  • Enforce regular handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfect and clean daily: schools and highly used objects and surfaces
  • Social distancing
  • Wear cloth face coverings as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health/Minnesota Department of Education and your local leadership.
Stay informed about current COVID-19 information:

Minnesota Department of Health Current Case Count

Image of MDH Family Checklist

Our Safe Learning Plan

Our district leadership team has carefully mapped out safety procedures, sanitizing and disinfection processes, social distancing protocols, teaching and learning tools, transportation planning, protective equipment for staff and students, food service protocols, technology needs, and most importantly how we will continue to build relationships with students and families. All of this planning was coupled with the feedback collected from many parents, students and staff members regarding our plans and how this may impact them.

Our safe learning plan will:

  • Prioritize the safety of students and staff
  • Prioritize in-person learning, especially for younger learners
  • Consider infectiousness and transmission risk among different ages

Thank you for your support, patience, and understanding as we work to provide Owatonna students with the best - and safest - education possible. 

General Guidelines

Please note, this information is based on Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. Guidelines can and do change frequently (length of time for close contact*, for example) and specific details of a concern/situation/positive result will be examined by MDH on a case by case basis as they arise. District protocol may also be adjusted as MDH and CDC update their guidelines.

*Close contact is currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset.