ane County officials are hunkering down for a fight over its health department’s order barring in-person instructions in local schools, including religious and private ones, for most students.
“The order for schools is lawful and we will defend it vigorously, because the reason Public Health put it in place is worth fighting for—the health of our kids and community,” Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi stated.
Parisi and Public Health Madison & Dane Co. drew their line in the sand Wednesday after a second lawsuit was filed in as many days challenging the order. Parisi noted that COVID-19 cases among children in the U.S. has nearly doubled and doctors still aren’t sure what the lifelong ramifications are for children if they contract the virus.
This latest case, which was taken straight to the state Supreme Court, was filed by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) on behalf of eight families, five schools, and two other organizations.
Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:
which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.
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