Guidance: Schools can only apply for wavier for online instruction if county’s positive rate is above 15%

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4:51 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Guidance from the state says school districts can only apply for a wavier for all online instruction if the county’s positivity rate is above 15% over 14 days with a 10% absenteeism. If a school would get a waiver, it would only be temporary.

The state now posts average rates, which update continuously, on the COVID-19 website. Seven counties have a 14-day average that’s at 15% or higher. That includes Webster, Clarke, Humboldt, Shelby, Emmet, Franklin, and Lyon.

Governor Kim Reynolds addressed Webster County in Thursday’s news conference, which has the highest average at 22% She cited the outbreak at the prison in Fort Madison, which has 386 of the county’s 768 cases, saying the positivity rate is contained, and every effort should be made for kids to go to school. The Governor says that’s why community context will be part of the decision to grant a waiver.

Gov. Reynolds said, “We have to be flexible, we have to know that we might have to go online temporarily and we need to be ready to do that. But I believe we should do everything we can to get our kids back in school in the most safe and responsible manner.”

She said the guidance is a starting point and could change moving forward.

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