SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 9/9/2020

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 9/9/2020
Posted on 09/09/2020

Hello SDMA Families and Staff.

This is the type of message that you can expect to receive from me each week when the new COVID-19 numbers come out on Wednesdays.............

The data listed on the Dunn County Dashboard was updated today, and you can see that there are now 208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dunn County (up from 179 last week) and 7,057 negative test results (up from 6,718 last week). There were 49 newly confirmed cases in the past two weeks (up from 32 last week) which results in a HIGH burden of 109 new cases per 100,000 people in Dunn County (up from a MODERATELY HIGH burden of 71 last week). Despite an increase in the local COVID-19 burden, the statistical trend for the past two weeks in Dunn County is still level ( <-->). More information about COVID measurements and levels are on the Department of Health Services website.

This data report will result in the SDMA continuing with the In-Person Learning Environment as noted on the 2020-2021 SDMA Instructional Models graphic, where all grade levels are allowed to have in-person instruction with full enrollment. If the BURDEN level in Dunn County increases to HIGH and the TREND level was increasing, additional mitigation measures (like possibly moving to the Blended Learning Environment) might be necessary. 

New information for this week....... I am happy to report that the work done by SDMA staff has resulted in at least 6' of physical distancing possible in all classrooms in grades K-8 and approximately 66% of the classes at Menomonie High School. Additionally, the planning done by Menomonie Transportation, the addition of a route by the school district, and having more families being willing to transport their children on their own has made our bus routes much safer. The school district continues to work with the Dunn County Health Department on models and metrics that could help inform decisions related to instructional environments, but if the district is forced to move to a blended learning environment at some point during the year, it is our hope that classes in grades K-8 could remain in-person everyday. This is a change from the previously reported plan in which only students in grades K-6 would be able to continue with everyday in-person instruction if the blended plan was necessary.

Six days into the 2020-2021 school year, there are no cases of COVID-19 being reported in our SDMA schools, and according to the Dunn County Facebook page, there are currently 38 active cases of COVID-19 in the county. While some students and staff members have missed school due to the symptoms being tracked or due to being a close contact to someone outside of the school district, the preventative exclusions and mitigation strategies appear to be working pretty well so far. We realize that school exclusions are difficult for families, but keeping students and staff members out of school if COVID-19 is suspected is the best mitigation strategy available for keeping everyone healthy and safe. 

Like schools and other organizations in the region, the SDMA is prepared to work closely with the health department when cases arise. Please continue to encourage your children and members of your household to Wash Up, Back Up, and Mask Up.

Thank you.

Joe Zydowsky