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COVID cases, quarantines continue to tick upward in the Madison School District
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COVID-19 | MADISON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

COVID cases, quarantines continue to tick upward in the Madison School District

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COVID-19 cases among students and staff in the Madison School District continue to tick upward, with three schools recording 10 or more COVID diagnoses in the past 14 days, according to data released Wednesday.

Elvehjem Elementary School recorded 11 COVID cases, Sandburg Elementary School had 10 cases and East High School had 15 cases in that time frame.

Thirteen schools in the district also recorded more than 20 quarantines due to close contacts with a COVID-19 case in the past week. The schools with the highest number of quarantined students and staff were West High School with 129 quarantines, Whitehorse Middle School with 95, East High School with 93 and Sandburg Elementary School with 79.

There were 789 students, teachers or staff quarantined during the past 14 days, compared with 621 on Sept. 22. And there were 144 cases over the past 14 days, compared with 112 as of Sept. 22, in a district of roughly 32,000 students, teachers and staff.

Around Dane County, the Mount Horeb School District recorded 27 cases and 296 who were required to quarantine in a district of roughly 2,500 students, between the beginning of the school year and Monday. The Waunakee School District recorded seven cases, in a district of roughly 4,400 students, and eight students who were required to quarantine during the week of Sept. 21.

The Middleton-Cross Plains School District reported 40 cases and 107 close contacts among students and staff, in a district of roughly 7,500 students, from the start of the school year through Wednesday. The DeForest School District recorded 50 cases and 118 who were required to quarantine, in a district of roughly 3,800 students, between the beginning of the school year and Friday.

The Belleville School District recorded five cases and 69 students and staff who were required to quarantine, in a district of roughly 900 students, between the start of the school year and Friday. The Wisconsin Heights School District recorded 10 cases, in a district of roughly 700 students, between the start of the school year and Wednesday.

The Monona Grove School District, with an enrollment of roughly 3,600 students, recorded 97 cases among students and staff between the start of the school year and Monday. The Stoughton School District recorded three cases among students and 19 students and staff members who were required to quarantine, in a district of roughly 2,900 students, during the week of Sept. 23.

The Cambridge School District recorded eight cases among students and staff between the start of the school year and Sept. 23, in a district of 900 students, and the Verona School District has recorded 48 cases among students and staff since the start of the school year, in a district of roughly 5,700 students.

The Marshall School District, with roughly 950 students, has had fewer than 11 cases since the start of the school year, though Superintendent Dan Grady declined to provide specific numbers regarding cases and quarantines.

The Oregon School District recorded 68 cases between the start of the school year and Sept. 27 in a district of roughly 4,100 students, and the McFarland School District has had a total of 16 cases and 69 students who have had to quarantine since the start of the school year in a district of roughly 2,400 students.

Deerfield and Sun Prairie school districts did not respond to a request for COVID case and quarantine data.

Vaccine mandates

The Middleton-Cross Plains School Board unanimously approved a vaccine requirement for all district teachers and staff on Monday.

“We believe this is yet another important step for us to take in our COVID-19 mitigation efforts. All local, state level, and national level medical and public health organizations continue to communicate the importance of vaccination as the most effective virus mitigation strategy,” district spokesperson Shannon Valladolid said.

Staff will have until Nov. 15 to be fully vaccinated, though the vast majority are already inoculated, Valladolid said. Those who choose not to get vaccinated due to a medical or religious reason will be tested weekly.

The Monona Grove School Board also adopted a vaccine requirement for staff at its Sept. 21 meeting. The policy requires all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by Dec. 1 as a condition of employment. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis, district spokesperson Katy Byrnes Kaiser said.

The Madison School Board adopted a vaccine requirement in a unanimous vote on Monday. Teachers and staff in the district must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1, while those with medical or religious reasons for not getting inoculated will be tested twice a week.

Since the start of the school year, Madison has sent out communication to parents via email to notify them of a COVID-19 case in their child’s school building. If their child is considered a close contact, parents are sent a separate email with additional information.

The district began rolling out a rapid testing initiative at the beginning of September, with the help of the Department of Health Services, in which health care providers offer walk-up COVID-19 testing to students, teachers and staff.

On-site testing was active at nine Madison school campuses as of Wednesday, district spokesperson Tim LeMonds said.

So far, one full class has been required to quarantine, while 11 other classrooms have pivoted to online-only learning for a period of six to 10 days due to multiple quarantines in a single class. Not every student in those 11 classes was required to quarantine, LeMonds said.


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