A joint letter from more than 30 school districts in the northeast Minnesota area is urging residents to take precautions against COVID-19.

The letter, signed by superintendents from 34 area schools and issued Oct. 9, is asking for help from residents regarding community spread of COVID-19.

Among those who signed the letter were Dan Stifter, superintendent of Aitkin Public Schools, Pat Rendle of Hill City Public Schools and Brad Johnson of McGregor Public Schools.

“We are four weeks into the year and already schools in our seven-county region have had to adjust their learning models from either in-person or hybrid to distance learning due to the sharp increases in positive COVID-19 cases,” the letter said. “This is disappointing for everyone involved.”

The letter went on to say schools are following requirements given by the Minnesota Department of Health, and that there appears to be minimal transmission in schools. However, community spread is occurring outside of school in community settings and at family and social gatherings.”

“We want our kids in school as much as possible,” the letter explained, adding that parents have also expressed that they want the students in school.

To that end, the superintendents are asking parents and students to follow the guidelines issued by the MDH:

• Avoid crowds

• Stay six feet from others

• Wash your hands

• Keep family and social gatherings outdoors

• Wear a mask

• Stay home when sick

The letter ended with a reminder to “do it for our kids.”

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