MADISON, Wis. — The number of positive coronavirus cases and close contacts required to quarantine in Madison schools has increased dramatically in the last week, according to the latest numbers on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The Madison Metropolitan School District updated its data Wednesday, showing a total of 83 positive cases and 407 close contacts required to quarantine in the last 14 days.
Last week, the district had reported 45 active positive cases and 106 close contacts that had to quarantine.
MMSD is now reporting cumulative totals of 99 positive cases and 430 close contacts required to quarantine since August 18th.
A total of 73 people who have had to quarantine have been reported at elementary schools in the district, including 10 at Anana Elementary School, 11 at Emerson Elementary, 21 at Gompers Elementary, 11 at Henderson Elementary, and 20 at Nuestro Mundo.
69 of the people quarantining so far have been at middle schools: 8 at Black Hawk Middle School, 30 at Sennett Middle School, 7 at Toki Middle School and 24 at Whitehorse Middle School.
West High School has seen the highest number of people who had to quarantine in the district over the last 14 days, with 142 close contacts recorded. East High School has seen 38 people forced to quarantine in the last two weeks, while La Follette High School has reported 30 and Memorial High School has reported 19.
The MMSD COVID-19 policy defines a close contact as someone within 6 feet of another person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period. However, not all close contacts are required to quarantine — district policy says a student does not need to quarantine if they were not within fewer of 3 feet of a positive individual for 15 minutes total in a 24-hour period, the student and the positive individual were wearing masks, and the school is following all other mitigation strategies.
Families are also supposed to receive an e-mail from MMSD if there is a positive COVID-19 case in their building. Those who are considered close contacts will be contacted separately by the district’s health office.
A large number of schools in the district have reported “suppressed” numbers of cases and people required to quarantine, which MMSD is defining as six or fewer individuals in the building testing positive or being required to quarantine. The district says they use that distinction to protect student and staff privacy.
You can view the district’s COVID-19 dashboard on its website.