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Dane Co. 3rd-5th graders won’t be headed back to class soon as average cases rise

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 10:58 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The average number of new COVID-19 cases per day in Dane County rose again last week, ending the chance third, fourth, and fifth-graders could be headed back to the classroom in the next couple weeks.

There was a glimmer of hope in last week’s report from Public Health Madison & Dane County, which showed the county’s 14-day average number of new cases slipped, just barely, under the 39 per day average needed to let those three grades resume in-person classes. The average would have needed to have been sustained for four weeks, before the ban could have been lifted.

In the previous report, the agency noted the rolling average dipped to 38.9 cases per day for the week ending on August 22. Even at that time, however, health officials weren’t optimistic about maintaining that level, noting “that recent days have seen an uptick in cases, so Dane County might not sustain the target next week.”

This latest week, which for school reporting purposes ended on August 29, put the figure past that threshold and noted that, during the previous two week period, more than 39 cases were reported in a single day 11 times.

With the clock now stopped, students, teachers, and families will have to wait until the average again dips below 39 over the course of a Sunday through Saturday period, and then stay there for three more weeks.

For the rest of the students, grades 6-12, the 14-day average has to fall to 19 or fewer over four weeks before they can go back.

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