With official COVID numbers increasing in the area, the Redwood Area School District’s COVID committee met last week to figure out the best approach for the schools to follow.

According to a statement Friday by Redwood Area Superintendent of School Becky Cselovszki, county and community numbers are the highest they have been, but last week the school district’s numbers were some of the lowest to date. As of Thursday, Nov. 12, there were no students who tested positive, and two staff members. The district’s quarantine was high, since it was required to quarantine the a.m. and p.m. preschool class.

Cselovszki stated last week’s COVID committee meeting included members of the Minnesota Department of Health, and area public health services. Cselovszki said, “The consensus is that our students remain safe in our buildings. The mitigations we have in place in our buildings are working, and we have had no school outbreak or spread. Our district continues to document some of the lowest numbers each week with our students. Our quarantines are high, but that is a result of our nursing staff being vigilant to prevent spread.”

Cselovszki said three factors have led the COVID committee to continue the district’s current policies: the educational benefits of students being in school, the mental health benefits of students being in school, and the fact that schools control the safety of students for a large portion of their day in a safe environment.

She added, “I do not remotely claim to be a medical expert but I do take this pandemic seriously. I do believe that our student population is safer in school for COVID concerns, mental health needs, and nutritional welfare concerns. When I add in the benefit of teacher contact and other educational benefits it is hard to justify closing down schools that are a lifeline for many students.”