Elementary schools can reopen to in-person learning on Jan. 18

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday he will allow elementary schools to reopen to in-person learning on Jan. 18. 

Under the updated Safe Learning Plan, elementary schools may choose to move to an in-person learning model as long as they are able to implement additional strategies for mitigating the risk of COVID-19, including requiring staff to wear a face shield and mask and offering regular testing. 

Deputy Education Commissioner Heather Mueller said at a press conference Wednesday the state will start testing school staff every other week starting Jan. 4 as long as there is funding for it.

Most school districts in the Twin Cities metro have been doing distance learning since Thanksgiving. Walz has said he is focused on how to get kindergarten through fifth grade students back in school.