SDMA COVID Weekly Update - 5/26/2021

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 5/26/2021
Posted on 06/01/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

With June 3 being the last day of school for students, this will be the last regular SDMA COVID-19 Update for the 2020-2021 school year. Communications during the summer will be sent as needed. It certainly has been a long haul, but thank you all for your continued attention and support in our efforts to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive results of the recent SDMA COVID-19 Survey are greatly appreciated by everyone in the SDMA. The district received a score of 4.08 on a five-point scale for overall satisfaction with our COVID-19 response.

Mask Requirements in the SDMA: The school board voted on Monday to make the use of masks optional for everyone in the SDMA beginning June 4. Masks will be optional for summer school and also for the May 30 graduation ceremony at Menomonie High School. Despite this change, the school district is encouraging all students and staff who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks until the CDC changes its guidance. Due to a federal order, masks will still be required on school buses. 

Summer School: Summer school is set to begin on Monday, June 14. Mitigation measures like physical distancing, cohorting, and hand sanitation will still be employed as much as possible during summer school, but masks will not be required (except on school buses). Late summer school registration will begin on Tuesday, June 1st through Tuesday, June 8th and will be completed via the 2021 Summer Academy Enrollment Form. Completed forms are to be dropped off within the late registration window at the Administrative Service Center (ASC), 215 Pine Avenue E., during the office hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Late registrations will be accepted based on course availability.

SDMA Learning Options for 2021-2022: Families will once again have the option to have children attend school in person or virtually through the Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) program during the 2021-2022 school year. The application window for students to enroll in online classes through WVS for the fall semester is now open. The SDMA encourages families to learn more about the SDMA Virtual School Option on the district website and consider how it may or may not benefit each child. Families who choose the virtual school option for their child(ren) must commit to the online platform for a minimum of a semester. The early application deadline for the Fall 2021 semester is June 1, 2021 for those families that are confident their child(ren) will attend school virtually next year. Fall applications will be accepted until August 6, 2021 for those who need more time to make a decision.

Vaccine Information: Everyone in Wisconsin age 12 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and appointments are readily available in our community. Approximately 23% (430) of all eligible students (1878) in the SDMA have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals 12-17 years old. Parents may wish to reach out to your family health provider and consider the Student Vaccination Guidance developed by the SDMA when considering a vaccination for your child. Students who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine due to being a "close contact", so long as they are asymptomatic. If fully vaccinated students are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms (whether or not they were a close contact) they will need to follow the district's protocol for exclusions with either a full or abbreviated quarantine period.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Data
According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day average in Wisconsin for new cases is 307 today (down from 394 last week) and percent positivity is 2.3% today (down from 2.8% last week). With a "moderately high" burden level and a "shrinking" trajectory, the overall disease activity across the state is "Medium".

Dunn County COVID-19 Data
According to Monday's update on the Dunn County Facebook page, disease activity across the county is still "High" with 21 active cases in Dunn County and 1 person hospitalized due to COVID-19 (27 and 1 last week). The weekly burden measurement for Dunn County dropped again from 73.7 last week to 51.4 ("moderately high") today, and the seven-day average for the percent positive indicator is at 2.4%. If the burden drops below 50 (or if the trajectory was shrinking), the disease activity level for Dunn County will drop to "Medium". The COVID-19 vaccine series has been completed by 15,311 Dunn County residents- 33.7% of the county population (up from 14,898/32.8% last week). 

SDMA Student COVID-19 Data
There has not been a confirmed COVID-19 student case in the school district since May 5. With 2,833 students participating in the in-person instructional model, the SDMA currently has 0 active student cases- 0.00% [same as 0 active cases last week]. 

Student COVID-19 exclusions across the district have also declined over this past week. Today, 0.99% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (down from 1.09% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 1.08% (down from 1.55% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      1.21% (down from 1.75% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   1.03% (up from 0.69% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           0.58%  (up from 0.29% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-    1.13%  (down from 1.98% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            0.95%  (up from 0.63% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                0.00%  (down from 1.22% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         1.23%  (up from 0.00% last week)
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0.61%  (up from 0.00% 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, and there have only been a few staff exclusions related to COVID-19 this past week. There are still "0" active COVID-19 cases with SDMA staff. Today, 0.18% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (same as 0.18% last week). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 0.10% (down from 0.30% last week). All SDMA faculty and staff members have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and approximately 70% of SDMA employees reported that they have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series. 

Thank you again for your continued support of our schools in the SDMA.

Have a great summer!

Joe Zydowsky