Lake Superior College in Duluth and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet are the most recent higher education schools in the Northland to start publicly reporting their known COVID-19 cases.
That's because the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has launched its COVID-19 dashboard, which shows the number of known COVID-19 cases among students and employees at each of the system's campuses.
Campuses report their weekly numbers to the system on Wednesdays and the system will update the dashboard every Friday.
There had been no reports of known cases among employees and students at FDLTCC as of Sept. 9.
As of Aug. 26, two employees at LSC were diagnosed with COVID-19. No other employee cases have been recorded since then.
One of those two employees had not been to campus when infected. It's unknown whether the other employee was on campus while infected, said Daniel Fanning, vice president of advancement and external relations.
"We did contact tracing for the higher-risk people just to err on the side of caution," Fanning said.
Between Aug. 26 and Sept. 2, LSC was notified of one student who had tested positive for COVID-19. There have been no other reported student cases.
The student who has been diagnosed may or may not have been on campus while infected, though Fanning said that student has not been on campus since testing positive.
Unlike the other four-year residential schools in the Twin Ports area, LSC and FDLTCC do not offer testing on campus.
While the dashboards reporting COVID-19 cases at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Minnesota Duluth only show cases among students who have been tested on campus, the Minnesota State dashboard reports all cases among the campus community that are known to the schools.
After contact tracing, the Minnesota Department of Health and local public health officials report cases of COVID-19 among employees and students to the schools. Employees and students can also self-report a diagnosis to the school.
Because of that, Fanning said it's unlikely that a case would go unreported by one of the Minnesota State campuses, unless a member of the campus community had COVID-19 and was never tested.
"St. Louis County and MDH have been phenomenal partners," Fanning said. "It really does help us to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks."
None of the five community colleges in the Northeast Higher Education District — Hibbing, Itasca, Rainy River, Mesabi Range and Vermilion — were reporting any COVID-19 cases among campus community members as of Sept. 9.
Across all 54 Minnesota State campuses scattered around the state, there have been at least 493 known student cases and 42 employee cases. The dashboard also shares the number of people at each campus who have taken the health assessment survey, which is required before anyone can enter a campus building.
The dashboard will be updated next on Friday, Sept. 18, with data through Wednesday, Sept. 16. The Minnesota State dashboard can be found at minnstate.edu/coronavirus.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior and the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth are the only higher education institutions in the Twin Ports area that aren't publicly reporting COVID-19 cases. Neither school has announced plans to do so.