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MMSD spokesperson says spike in COVID cases is expected

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MADISON, Wis. — According to a Madison Metropolitan spokesperson the reported districtwide increase in positive COVID cases was expected and the hundreds of staff and students required to quarantine is more of precaution than cause for concern.

In the past two weeks there have been 83 new positive cases in the district, and 407 students and staff are being required to quarantine after being deemed in close contact with a positive person.

“What’s happening in our schools is very reflective of what is happening in our community,” Lemonds said. “There’s going to be ebb and flow. Cases are gonna be up one day and they’ll be down the next.”

Lemonds also said despite the increase in positive cases based on the district’s contact tracing efforts there is no evidence of COVID transmission at the schools themselves.

“There’s just an abundance of precaution so that we can meet our goal of keeping our schools open so students can learn in person,” he added.

Public Health Madison and Dane County wouldn’t comment on Madison School’s situation specifically but in an interview with News 3 Wednesday, the department’s school liaison said we should expect to see COVID cases everywhere including schools.

“Even with the best mitigation measures you’re always going to have some close contacts at school,” said PHMDC communicable disease epidemiologist Amanda Kita-Yarbro.”It’s not always possible to maintain that distance. And then especially when kids are eating the masks come off.”

Kita-Yarbo also said that any increases in positive COVID cases should be handled on a case by case basis.

“There isn’t really a set cut off for when a school would say, close a classroom or when a district would close a school or anything like that,” she said.

She also said schools are more challenging to manage because kids under 11 aren’t eligible to be vaccinated.

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