School district faces students, staff quarantined for COVID-19
quickly went into action on plans to ensure eduction continued. Impacted staff are continuing to teach from home using remote learning tools.
Sullivan explained that this is in line with school’s plan that as long as the staff members are feeling well and have access to the necessary technology they will continue instruction even if home in quarantine. This is also true for students who are quarantined with them being set up to learn virtually as long as they are feeling up to it. “If you don’t feel good it is a true sick day,” Sullivan said, noting that otherwise students would be expected to keep up with their classes just as in the past when materials would be sent home for students with influenza or other illness.
Krug said Medford was the first Taylor County school district the health department has had to work with for a COVID-19 outbreak. School restarted for the year last week. She praised Medford schools for their cooperation in working with the health department staff.
Public health officials had previously met with staff from each of the areas schools to go over low, medium and high risk percentage levels where the schools would make decisions regarding the best course of action for their schools. She said Taylor County schools could not be compared with percentages of students in places like Milwaukee or Madison where even a low percentage could be large numbers of students. Here that same percentage may be only one or two students. She also noted that response varies on the level where an outbreak occurs noting what is done at the elementary level could be different than at the high school level based on how it impacts the school’s operations. She said each district has established thresholds where they will have to decide if there are not enough staff and/or students in the buildings to continue in-person school. “We work with the school based on their percentages,” Krug said.
“Every school will be different,” she said, noting that in addition to the public schools they are also working closely with area parochial schools.
Krug said that overall, the health department has had a positive working relationship with school and businesses. “Workplaces in Taylor County have been very good with working with the health department,” she said, noting they are good about implementing measures suggested.
Krug urges people to continue to follow the recommendations of social distancing, wearing masks and staying home when they are not feeling well. She said it is especially important that people stay away from large gatherings when they are sick.
“The expectation is for people to have social responsibility,” Krug said, adding that people make a choice based on their actions.