Large Majority of Iowa School Districts Could Seek Online Only Classes

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa school districts are increasingly dealing with surging COVID-19 rates in their communities.

Two-thirds of the state's 99 counties now have positivity rates that allow districts to apply for online only classes.

That level is a 15 percent positivity rate over a 14-day average. The number of counties reaching the threshold was in the single digits in late September.

The Ames district voted Wednesday night to delay its implementation of all in-person classes because of rising virus rates. The district decided to delay the return of grades pre-K through 5th grades to 100 percent face-to-face instruction until November 23 dependent upon local data.

As of early Thursday morning, several of the state's larger districts have the option to apply for online only classes. They include Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Waterloo and Dubuque. Polk and Dallas counties in the metro Des Moines area have rising COVID-19 rates that are just below the threshold.

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