SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 1/6/2021

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 1/6/2021
Posted on 01/07/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

Happy New Year from the School District of the Menomonie Area. 

The last school district update was shared three weeks ago (December 16), so please keep that in mind when considering any longitudinal comparisons in this message.

Dunn County COVID-19 Data Update
The data listed on the Dunn County Dashboard was updated today, and you can see there is now a cumulative total of 3,634 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dunn County (up from 3,212 in the last report). According to the Dunn County Facebook page, there are currently 190 active cases in Dunn County and 4 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (down from 291 and 16 last report). The seven-day moving average for new cases in Dunn County is now at 21 cases per day, or 46 cases/100,000 people (down from 29 cases per day or 65 cases/100,000 people last report). 

As can be seen in the cumulative and daily case graphs, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Dunn County has really stabilized over the past few weeks. The updated burden chart shows how the burden level in Dunn County dropped from 860 on December 16 to 605 today. The burden level in Dunn County was listed as "Critically High" in November and it is currently listed as "Very High". The burden would need to fall below 500 to drop into the next category. Testing continues to track lower and positivity rates are still concerning, so people should remain very cautious about possible exposures to COVID-19. Anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to get tested and may want to take advantage of free surge testing being offered at UW Stout or the free testing service supported by the Wisconsin National Guard. 

SDMA Student COVID-19 Data
Some of the newly reported cases over the past weeks have been students enrolled in the SDMA. Since September 1, there is a cumulative reported total of 163 student cases (157 confirmed and 6 probable) of COVID-19 cases in the SDMA [up from 137 (135 confirmed and 2 probable) cases last reported] with the following breakdown:

  • Menomonie High School-    87 (up from 70 last report) 
  • Menomonie Middle School- 39  (up from 36)
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools- 36  (up from 28) 
  • Menomonie 4K-   1 (same as 1)

Many of the student COVID-19 cases in the SDMA have already been deemed "recovered", and a number of students have been released from the mandatory isolation period. With 2,619 students participating in the in-person instructional model, the SDMA currently has 16 active student cases- 0.61% [up from 8 active cases (0.23%) last report]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     9 (up from 6 last report) *5 confirmed and 4 probable 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  3 (up from 1 last report) *2 cases confirmed and 1 probable 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  4 (up from 1 last report) *3 confirmed and 1 probable
  • Menomonie 4K-   0 (same as 0)

Today, 5.15% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (up from 3.97% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 3.95%. 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      5.09% (up from 3.73% last report)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   4.43% (up from 3.28% last report)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           3.53%  (down from 4.17% last report)
  • River Heights Elementary-    3.41%  (down from 7.85% last report)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            5.02%  (up from 0.67% last report)
  • Knapp Elementary-                0.00%  (same as 0.00% last report)
  • Downsville Elementary-         8.11%  (up from 5.41% last report)
  • Menomonie 4K-                     14.79% (up from 7.10% last report)

SDMA Staff COVID-19 Data
There have been a total of 51 staff cases in the SDMA since the start of the school year (up from 45 last report), 46 of which have been released from isolation, so there are currently 5 active staff cases in the SDMA (up from 1 on the last report). Today, 1.95% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (down from 2.83% last report). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 2.30% (down from 2.86% last week). 

It is very possible that unknown holiday exposures could still lead to more cases reported in our schools and community, so avoiding unnecessary gatherings, Washing Up, Masking Up, and Backing Up are extremely important mitigation measures for reducing the likelihood of needing to quarantine or isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure. If you or anyone in your family has been exposed to COVID-19 and/or is experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested, stay home, and help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.


Joe Zydowsky