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Rising COVID Cases Amid Delta Variant Put Minnesota School Plans In Flux

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday announced another 1,600-plus COVID-19 cases, and 14 more deaths. That continues the trend of rising cases since late July, but at this point, the pandemic is affecting the school year.

On Wednesday morning, there were no students in the building at Thomas Edison High School. Minneapolis Public Schools says they switched to online learning due to "significant exposure" due to COVID-19.

State health officials have said they do expect spread in schools to continue to increase over the coming weeks.

School districts across the state have their own plans for COVID mitigation, and are having to respond outbreaks in the classroom.

Pandemic concerns are also impacting at least one business's decision to go curbside until cases get more under control. J. Selby's in St. Paul posted on Facebook that it's closing its dining room until further notice in the interest of safety for staff.

Hospitality Minnesota says it's not aware of other businesses that have made similar calls.

"We certainly believe restaurants can continue to operate safely in this environment, and we support the ability of each of those folks to make those decisions on a case-by-case basis, working with their staff and contemplating what their customer base expects and needs," Hospitality Minnesota's Ben Wogsland said.

In order for there to be blanket mask mandates impacting schools or businesses, or capacity limits once again inside businesses, that would have to come from an executive order by Gov. Tim Walz under a peacetime emergency, and those powers have expired. Walz's administration says they have no intention of reinstating a state of emergency at this point.

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