An Oregon dance studio that last week drew a 119-count complaint from the joint Madison and Dane County public health department for alleged COVID-19 health order violations is suing the department, joining a lawsuit that challenges Dane County’s indoor gathering limits.
A Leap Above Dance, which faces nearly $24,000 in fines for alleged violations of an emergency order issued by Public Health Madison and Dane County, on Tuesday became a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last month on behalf of two local parents who have children involved in sports teams.
The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 20 by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, challenges the health department’s authority to issue emergency orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 without approval from the Dane County Board. It also questions limits placed on sports in the latest emergency order, No. 12, issued on Jan. 12.
The lawsuit was originally filed directly with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which in December decided 4-3 against taking the case and told plaintiffs to start in circuit court.
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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.
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