The Duluth School District announced on Thursday that there will be no proms for Duluth East or Duluth Denfeld high schools this spring. Unfortunately, this is the second cancelled prom as last year the pandemic was just unfolding at the time. They cite concerns and recommendations from health officials as the COVID case rate approaches 40 for St. Louis County. Health officials expect cases to continue to rise.

WDIO reports that the decision was made to cancel prom now, rather than wait and have families spend money and time preparing for the event. Prom can be expensive and I can appreciate their decision to cancel now, rather than have parents spend hundreds of dollars on prom dresses or tuxedo rentals.

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The school district also recognized that there may be disappointment in this announcement of the cancellation of prom as there was some hope that things may be different this spring.

The race to vaccinate is on as more vaccines become available. However variants of COVID-19 are more contagious and spreading throughout the United States. In Minnesota there have been 28,163 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. Locally in St. Louis County there has been an increase of 785 cases in the last two weeks. Across the bridge in Douglas County there has been 193 new cases in the same time period. Currently 27% of Minnesotans are fully vaccinated. 40.5% of Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Both Moderna & Pfizer vaccines require a booster shot weeks after the first dose. The one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been put on pause as the CDC investigates reports of extremely rare blood clots in several people that have developed. President Joe Biden says there still is enough vaccines for Americans despite the hold on Johnson & Johnson.

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