Superintendent Jonathan Cooper this summer helped write a fall reopening plan for his southwestern Ohio school district with a rule based on the state’s policy: Any student potentially exposed to Covid-19 in Mason City Schools had to quarantine for two weeks, no exceptions.
This fall, he began rethinking it.
A growing body of research and data suggested the virus wasn’t spreading widely in schools. An email from a star football player who had been sidelined from a playoff game became a turning point. The student, senior Brady Comello, had been seated in class, masked, near another student who later tested positive.
“I am so upset right now that I have to miss my first playoff game and possibly my last high school game ever,” Mr. Comello wrote, pleading for Mr. Cooper to reconsider the rule.
Even with coronavirus cases beginning to rise again across the country, student quarantines were more stringent than they needed to be, Mr. Cooper decided. He forwarded the email to Gov. Mike DeWine with his own appeal for an exception. The office denied his request.
Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled
Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).
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.
Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.
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Assembly against private school forced closure.
Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
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“An emphasis on adult employment”
Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]
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Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.