Olson: Minnesota schools to stay closed remainder of school year


WCCO political analyst Blois Olson says Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will announce Thursday that Minnesota schools will stay closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

"I anticipate his announcement today on schools will include a message of, 'This is not what I wanted to to, it's just what's best for the health of our state,"" said Blois Olson during The Morning Take on the Morning News with Dave Lee.

The announcement would come one day after Governor Walz announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic, U of M, and health systems on rapid ramping up of testing capacity.

Minnesota's Stay at Home order is set to come to an end on May 4th. 

"I'm waking up to news today, so this is going to be a busy day," Law told Dave Lee.

Despite the announcement, Law believes that online learning should continue.

"We certainly don't want to lose another seven weeks of instruction this year," Law told Dave Lee. "Some way to keep our kids connected to school would be critical. That would be my preference."

Law says they're planning to recognize 2020 graduates.

"Parents have been loud and clear about wanting to have an in-person graduation ceremony, if possible," he said. "We don't know if we're going to be able to have a group of 600 students in one spot during the first weekend of June. If that's not possible we've looked into a ceremony without an audience and we're looking into what a virtual graduation ceremony looks like."

Olson believes that Thursday's message from Governor Walz will include a plan to slowly restart the Minnesota economy.

"Governor Walz will lay out a slow-turn of the dial, or surgical approach to reopening the economy," Olson said. "He won't give specific industries, but he will say 'On May 4th, these are the kinds of things you can start to expect,"" Olson said.

Olson said he expects Governor Walz's administration to monitor the COVID-19 case numbers over the next week and if a plateau in numbers continues, Governor Walz will feel more confident in which parts of the economy to reopen.

Governor Walz will join the daily briefing with the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday at 2:00p.m. which you can hear live on 830 WCCO or on the RADIO.COM app.