SDMA COVID Update - 3/31/2021

SDMA COVID Update - 3/31/2021
Posted on 04/01/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

COVID-19 activity across the country, state, and local community has crept up a bit the past couple of weeks. Some increases can be expected due to the new variants, spring break travel, and the easing of some restrictions, but it is important to understand that COVID-19 is still circulating in our community and can be easily spread if proper precautions are not observed. Studies have demonstrated that cases in schools are closely aligned with disease activity in the community, so please continue to be mindful of any gatherings, consider getting vaccinated, and do what you can to Wash Up, Mask Up, and Back Up, so our schools can have a successful end to the school year and get beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final Survey Reminder: To help inform the planning process for the 2021-2022 school year, the SDMA is asking all families to respond to this short survey by this Friday, April 2.

Vaccine Eligibility: Beginning Monday, April 5, everyone in Wisconsin age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals 16-17 years old. Parents may wish to reach out to your family health provider or consider utilizing the Walgreens or Prevea vaccination clinics for earlier access to the Pfizer vaccine if you desire to have your 16-17 year old child(ren) vaccinated.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Update
As previously noted, COVID-19 data trends have been inching up across the state. According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day average in Wisconsin for new cases is 470 today (up from 452 last week) and percent positivity is 2.8% today (up from 2.5% last week). This morning the State Supreme Court struck down the governor's more recent emergency order and mask mandate, but school district policies have not changed. Cloth face coverings are still required in all SDMA school buildings for all students, staff, and visitors.

Dunn County COVID-19 Data Update
According to Monday's update on the Dunn County Facebook page, disease activity across the county is "High" with 45 active cases in Dunn County and 1 person hospitalized due to COVID-19 (37 and 1 last week). The burden level (188) in Dunn County is currently listed as "High" with an increasing trajectory, and percent positivity (6.0%) has increased to "Medium" (121 and 3.4% last week). The COVID-19 vaccine series has been completed by 6,567 Dunn County residents- 14.5% of the county population (up from 5,266/11.6% last week). 

SDMA Student COVID-19 Data
Some of the newly reported confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dunn County over the past week have been students enrolled in the SDMA. With 2,833 students participating in the in-person instructional model for the second semester, the SDMA currently has 7 active student cases- 0.25% [up from 1 active case (0.04%) last week]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     4 (up from 0 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  2 (up from 0 last week) 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  1 (same as 1 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0 (same as 0 last week)

Student COVID-19 exclusions across the district have increased this week. Today, 3.32% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (up from 1.59% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 2.52% (up from 1.88% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      2.96% (up from 1.32% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   2.76% (up from 0.69% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           3.50%  (up from 2.92% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-    3.68%  (up from 3.12% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            6.31%  (up from 1.58% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                2.44%  (same as 2.44% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         1.23%  (up from 0.00% last week)
  • Menomonie 4K*-                    1.82%  (up from 0.61% last week)

SDMA Staff COVID-19 Data
There has not been a reported case of COVID-19 by SDMA staff since the beginning of February, so there are still "0" active COVID-19 cases with SDMA staff. Today, 0.88% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (up from 0.53% last report). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 0.88% (up from 0.61% last week). All SDMA faculty and staff members will have had the opportunity to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week. 

Hopefully the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is already behind us, but it is critical that we all stay vigilant for a little while longer. 


Joe Zydowsky