SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 3/3/2021

SDMA Weekly COVID Update - 3/3/2021
Posted on 03/03/2021

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

According to the Department of Health Services website, the 7-day averages in Wisconsin for new cases (545 today-down from 617 last week) and percent positivity (2.4% today-down from 2.8% last week) are the best they have been since last summer. Local vaccination efforts have really started to ramp up, so please continue with mitigation strategies for a little while longer 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 at UW Stout. Please note that UW Stout is now offering an exclusive PCR test option for K-12 students enrolled in face-to-face instruction, and results have been typically coming back within 24-28 hours. 

Dunn County COVID-19 Data Update
The data listed on the Dunn County Dashboard was updated today, and you can see that there is now a cumulative total of 4,276 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dunn County (up from 4,244 last week). According to the Dunn County Facebook page, there are currently 48 active cases in Dunn County and 2 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (60 and 2 last week). The seven-day moving average for new cases in Dunn County is at 5 cases per day, or 11 cases/100,000 people (same as 5 cases per day or 11 cases/100,000 people last week). 

Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 2,676 Dunn County residents- 5.9% of the county population (up from 2,238/4.4% last week). All SDMA employees have been provided with opportunities to be vaccinated this week, so county vaccination numbers will really begin to improve by the end of the month. 

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 (# of new cases in two weeks/100,000 people) in Dunn County has now dropped to 154 (down from 206 last week). The burden level in Dunn County is still considered "High" and would need to drop below 100 to fall into the "Moderately High" category. 

SDMA Student COVID-19 Data
Two of the newly reported confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dunn County over the past week have been students enrolled in the SDMA. Since September 1, there is a cumulative reported total of 205 student COVID-19 cases (196 confirmed and 9 probable) in the SDMA [up from 202 (194 confirmed and 8 probable) cases last week] with the following breakdown:

  • Menomonie High School-   103 (up from 101 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School- 54  (up from 53 last week)
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools- 45  (same as 45 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-   3 (same as 3 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 3 active student cases- 0.11% [down from 5 active cases (0.18%) last week]. The breakdown of active student cases includes:

  • Menomonie High School-     2 (up from 1 last week) 
  • Menomonie Middle School-  1 (down from 3 last week) 
  • Menomonie Elem. Schools-  0 (down from 1 last week) 
  • Menomonie 4K-                     0 (same as 0 last 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 4.77% last week). The 7-day average for student exclusions across the SDMA is 3.77% (down from 4.37% last week). 

The current breakdown of SDMA student exclusions includes:

  • Menomonie High School-      1.86% (down from 2.74% last week)
  • Menomonie Middle School-   2.93% (down from 5.52% last week)
  • Wakanda Elementary-           0.58%  (down from 1.17% last week)
  • River Heights Elementary-     0.88%  (down from 2.83% last week)
  • Oaklawn Elementary-            0.63%  (same as 0.63% last week)
  • Knapp Elementary-                1.22%  (down from 8.54% last week)
  • Downsville Elementary-         0.00%  (down from 1.23% last week)
  • Menomonie 4K*-                    10.30%  (down from 32.73% last week)
    *Due to the nature of 4K programming, one case can lead to a high number of exclusions, and an abbreviated quarantine is not an option for this age group.

SDMA Staff COVID-19 Data
There have been a total of 57 staff cases in the SDMA since the start of the school year (same as 57 the last two weeks), all of which have been released from isolation. There are currently 0 active staff cases in the SDMA (same as 0 last week). Today, 0.71% of the 565 district staff members were excluded from work for COVID-19 reasons (down from 1.06% last week). The 7-day average for staff exclusions across the SDMA is 0.99% (down from 1.09% last week). 

Spring Break Travel Info
With spring break approaching (March 13-March 21), the school district continues to field questions about student and staff travel. While travel is not recommended by the health department, the SDMA is not requiring a mandatory quarantine period upon return (unless considered a close contact or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms). Please refer to the newly created SDMA Guidance for Domestic and International Travel for more information.  

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