DES MOINES — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said Thursday that only school districts in counties with a coronavirus positivity rate of 15 percent or higher will be allowed to go to online learning full time.

Speaking in a press conference Thursday Reynolds released guidance from the Department of Public Health that included four levels of COVID-19 transmission that could lead to changes in the districts Return to Learn plan.

Counties with none to minimal community transmission (0-5 percent) are suggested to continue on-site learning following public health guidance, or hybrid learning as necessary based on parent preference and student quarantine. As of Thursday morning, Cass County had a positivity rate of 3 percent and Audubon County a positivity rate of 4.1 percent. At this level officials suggest district encourage students who are sick stay home, students stay six feet apart and wash hands frequently and use face coverings when “able to do so safely and correctly.”

The district should also maintain a frequent cleaning schedule using EPA-approved cleaning products and monitor absenteeism among teachers, staff, and students

With a “minimal to moderate community transmission rate” (6-14 percent): Schools are suggested to continue on-site learning following public health guidance, or hybrid learning as necessary based on parent preference and student quarantine.

Substantial controlled community transmission (15-20 percent): Schools are suggested to follow hybrid learning plans as necessary based on parent preference and student quarantine. Schools can request the Department of Education to transition to continuous remote learning for up to 14 days. At this level districts should cancel school events/gatherings and Close communal spaces (e.g.,cafeterias, media centers.

Substantial uncontrolled community transmission (more than 20%): Schools can request the Department of Education to transition to continuous remote learning for up to 14 days.

All but three of Iowa’s 99 counties have a positivity rate of 10 percent or less and all Cass and Audubon County schools are planning on reopening in August with students attending classes on site.

Email Jeff Lundquist at jrlund@ant-news.com