The number of COVID-19 cases in Cass County saw a dramatic jump Wednesday.

Cass County Public Health officials are actively working to identify any common theme as to why there are 17 new cases.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Cass County now sits at 157. Based on ZIP codes given, 11 people are from the Cass Lake area, two from Hackensack, and one each from the Walker, Backus, Bena and Pequot Lakes areas.

Four of the new cases are school-age students, and the rest are between 27 to 72, with four others under 41. The 14-day case rate jumped from 9.99 to 15.51 in one day.

Over the past week in the Brainerd School District, students in grades 9-12 encountered a proven and growing cluster of positive COVID-19 cases within the student body. In consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, high school classes in grades 9-12 at Brainerd High School, Lincoln Education Center, and Brainerd Learning Center canceled Sept. 23.  This will allow teachers to prepare for full-time distance learning.

On Sept. 24 high school classes at BHS, LEC, and BLC will be “reset” into a distance learning model for two weeks. Teachers and students will follow the hybrid learning bell schedule. During the two week reset there will be no high school athletic practices or competitions. Students will return in the hybrid model with B-group students Oct. 8.

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