Monroe Schools Close As COVID-19 Rises

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MONROE – As cases of COVID-19 increase locally and statewide, all public schools in Monroe are going virtual until the end of October.

Monroe School District administrator Rick Waski announced the change in an email to parents on October 15, explaining that it was a response to the “growing number of positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines in our district schools, combined with the highest number of active cases and percentage of positive tests we have had in Green County. “

Green County reports 119 active cases, including four hospitalized, as of October 15. The percentage of residents who tested positive in the past 14 days continues to rise and currently stands at nearly 16%, its highest level to date. Three residents of Green County have died since June from COVID-19.

Lafayette County is seeing a similar rise and reported its first death from COVID-19 on October 14. It had 86 active cases and 10 probable cases.

Wisconsin recorded a record 3,747 new confirmed cases on October 15. The Department of Health Services reported that the average daily number of cases has more than quadrupled in the past six weeks, and the average number of daily deaths has more than tripled.

Waski said the school district intends to resume face-to-face teaching in the district’s five buildings the week of November 2, but only “if the numbers … show declining trends.”

“It is my belief, and the belief of a large majority of the school board, that face-to-face teaching in any form is superior to fully virtual teaching,” he said. wrote in the email to parents, adding: “We realize this is a challenge for families, especially those with children of primary school age. We would not take this step if we didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary. ”

In the Monroe School District, as of October 15, 91 students and staff were in quarantine or are currently positive for the novel coronavirus.

Green County records an average of 16 to 17 new cases per day, said RoAnn Warden, public health official. Most originate from domestic or community transmission.

The county has 24 active outbreak investigations, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, including seven outbreaks resulting from private gatherings.

Although COVID-19 spreads most easily indoors, Warden said outdoor gatherings are also causing outbreaks in Green County.

“These are outdoor parties where people would think they are safe (like a) barbecue, gathering around a table or around a fire. We haven’t always seen private gatherings outside. ‘indoors (causing epidemics). It’s general, “she said. .

Even “drive” gatherings where people stay in their cars but interact with the windows open have been the source of epidemics.

This highlights the need for people to stay at home or in their family unit when possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 and that even outdoor gatherings with extended family can be risky, Warden said.

Contact tracers do not ask questions about the use of the mask.

At a county health committee meeting on October 14, public health nurse Vicki Evenson said she was seeing people who tested positive who initially did not have symptoms, so they continued to work after they were been tested.

“Then they develop serious (symptoms),” she said.

Still, Warden said, more and more people being tested at local testing sites are symptomatic at the time of testing.

Free drive-thru tests are available in Monroe on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Monroe National Guard Armory and alternating Mondays in New Glarus and Brodhead. To register and make an appointment, go to gcsante.org.

Lafayette County offers free drive-thru tests every second Tuesday at the Ames Multi-Purpose Building, 11974 Ames Rd. The next test event is from 10 am to noon on October 27. No appointment is necessary, but you can pre-register at register.covidconnect.wi.gov.

The test is recommended for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

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