SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 5/5/2021

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 5/5/2021
Posted on 05/05/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

This week is teacher appreciation week!  Now would be a great time for students and families to do something special to demonstrate to our teachers how much they are appreciated. We are very fortunate in the SDMA to have such a caring, talented, and dedicated group of professionals to work with our kids. Please join me in thanking all of our teachers in the SDMA.

COVID-19 activity has continued to fluctuate this past week across the country, state, and local community. 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, 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

Vaccine Information: Everyone in Wisconsin age 16 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and appointments are readily available in our community. Please see the attached information about the Community Vaccination Clinic being offered at UW Stout on Thursday, May 13. It appears that access to the vaccine will soon be expanded to the younger population (12 and older), and there is also discussion about possibly allowing access to children 2 and older this fall. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals 16-17 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 16+ year old child. Recently, the CDC issued new guidance related to mask wearing for people who have been vaccinated, and last week's news included a report that demonstrates the terrific efficacy of the vaccine so far in Wisconsin. I am hopeful that more restrictions could be lifted in our schools next school year if case counts go down and/or more people choose to get vaccinated.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 data trends have continued to fluctuate across the state. According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day average in Wisconsin for new cases is 626 today (up from 612 last week) and percent positivity is 3.4% today (up from 3.2% last week). 

Dunn County COVID-19 Data Update
According to Monday's update on the Dunn County Facebook page, disease activity across the county is still "High" with 36 active cases in Dunn County and 1 person hospitalized due to COVID-19 (52 and 3 last week). The COVID-19 vaccine series has been completed by 13,376 Dunn County residents- 29.5% of the county population (up from 11,879/26.2% 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, the SDMA currently has 1 active student case- 0.04% [down from 6 active cases (0.21%) last week]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     0 (down from 1 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  0 (down from 2 last week) 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  1 (down from 3 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0 (same as 0 last week)

Student COVID-19 exclusions across the district have also fluctuated over this past week. Today, 2.08% of the students in the SDMA were excluded from school due to close contacts, symptoms, or other COVID-19 concerns (down from 2.51% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 2.16% (down from 2.51% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      0.88% (down from 2.08% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   1.90% (up from 1.38% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           0.87%  (down from 3.50% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-    7.37%  (up from 4.53% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            3.15%  (up from 2.84% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                0.00%  (same as 0.00% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         0.00%  (down from 8.64% 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 has not been any staff exclusions related to COVID-19 this week. There are still "0" active COVID-19 cases with SDMA staff. Today, 0.00% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (down from 0.53% last week). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 0.25% (down from 0.58% last week). All SDMA faculty and staff members had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and approximately 70% of SDMA employees reported that they have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series. 

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


Joe Zydowsky