SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 1/27/2021

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 1/27/2021
Posted on 01/28/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

COVID-19 data across the state continues to demonstrate better trends. According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day averages for new cases (1,517) and percent positivity (5.9%) in Wisconsin are the best they have been since the middle of September. Despite this better data, please continue to avoid gatherings and employ strict mitigation strategies during this critical period of recovery. 

Anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to get tested and may want to take advantage of the free surge testing program that is being restarted at UW Stout, or the free testing program supported by the Wisconsin National Guard. 

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 3,989 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dunn County (up from 3,876 last week). According to the Dunn County Facebook page, there are currently 141 active cases in Dunn County and 9 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (153 and 2 last week). The seven-day moving average for new cases in Dunn County is now at 18 cases per day, or 40 cases/100,000 people (down from 22 cases per day or 49 cases/100,000 people last week). Vaccinations have been administered to 1,922 Dunn County residents (4% of the population), but it appears that vaccines will not be made available for Wisconsin teachers until approximately March 1 due to vaccine availability and state-level restrictions.

As can be seen in the cumulative and daily case graphs, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Dunn County has continued to stabilize over the past several weeks. The updated burden chart demonstrates how the burden level in Dunn County dropped from 2000+ in November to approximately 518 today. The burden level in Dunn County is currently listed as "Very High", and the burden would need to fall below 350 to drop into the next category. 

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 185 student COVID-19 cases (177 confirmed and 8 probable) in the SDMA [up from 178 (171 confirmed and 7 probable) cases last week] with the following breakdown:

  • Menomonie High School-    94 (up from 90 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School- 46  (up from 43 last week)
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools- 43  (same a 43 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-   2 (same as 2 last week)

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 2,833 students participating in the in-person instructional model for the second semester, the SDMA currently has 8 active student cases- 0.28% [down from 12 active cases (0.46%) last week]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     5 (up from 3 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  3 (same as 3 last week) 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  0 (down from 5 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-   0 (down from 1 last week)

Today, 4.31% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (down from 6.72% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 5.68% (down from 5.69% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      3.73% (down from 4.86% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   6.38% (down from 7.13% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           6.41%  (down from 13.14% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-     3.97%  (down from 7.17% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            2.21%  (down from 4.35% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                0.00%  (down from 1.45% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         2.47%  (down from 8.11% last week)
  • Menomonie 4K-                     3.64%  (down 8.28% last week)

SDMA Staff COVID-19 Data
There have been a total of 56 staff cases in the SDMA since the start of the school year (up from 55 last week), 55 of which have been released from isolation, so there is currently 1 active staff case in the SDMA (down from 4 last week). Today, 1.77% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (down from 3.89% last week). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 2.93% (down from 3.44% last week). 

Reminder of Free School Meals
This is a reminder from SDMA Director of School Nutrition Michelle Kloser that breakfast and lunch are FREE for all students through the end of the school year. Free meals are available for students attending school in-person as well as those learning at home. If your child is learning at home and you would like to pick up free meals, please visit the district website for more information. Registration for free meals is only required for students in the virtual program. This is a great benefit for ALL families this year! Please contact Michelle Kloser if you have any questions or concerns or 715-232-1642 x 11064.

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. Please continue to avoid unnecessary gatherings, Wash Up, Mask Up, and Back Up to reduce the likelihood of needing to quarantine or isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure. Also, 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