Schools cope with Covid-19 cases, quarantines

The following is an updated version of an article that appeared in the County Line’s Sept. 23 print issue.

Both the Royall and the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton school district have dealt with Covid-19 cases and quarantines among staff and students in recent weeks. 

Royall

Royall High School went to virtual instruction for at least Thursday and Friday, and all co-curricular activities also were canceled. The board of education had an emergency meeting Thursday (See RHS to go virtual until Oct. 4; masks required for all students through October).

Students in 4-year-old kindergarten through eight grade are continuing with in-person instruction.

Superintendent Mark Gruen said Tuesday that the pandemic was resulting in a “big uptick for us right now.” The Juneau County Health Department stipulated that the district quarantine “a bunch of close contacts,” and that in part resulted in the Royall forfeiting its football game against Bangor, which had been slated for Friday. Also, two starters were missing at Monday’s junior varsity football game. 

Those close contacts did not show symptoms of Covid-19, Gruen said. 

As of Tuesday, the district has three active cases and 14 so far this school year. 

N-O-W

Though N-O-W on Tuesday had seven active cases and 25 students out on quarantine, the district was “able to continue playing in all athletic sports and function as normally as possible in both the elementary and JH/HS,” said Superintendent Travis Anderson. 

Besides the active cases, the district has tallied 11 recovered cases since the start of the school year. The students out on quarantine and the seven current cases are expected to be back in school by Monday, Anderson noted. 

Of Tuesday’s current cases, one was a senior; four, juniors; one, a second-grader; and one a staff member. N-O-W’s Covid-19 report is updated daily at now.k12.wi.us (click on “For Parents,” “Health Services,” and then “Covid-19”).

Enlisting substitutes is a continual problem at N-O-W, as it is in most school districts. 

“We have a small list of staff substitutes; however, we are very thankful for the people willing to be subs in our district, and all of them are consistent subs for us,” Anderson said. 

Vernon County reports two deaths

Over the weekend, the Vernon County Health Department reported two new deaths from Covid-19. The first victim was a female in her 80s; and the second, a male in his 50s. That brought the total deaths in the county to 54 since the start of the pandemic. 

Also, Vernon County had 11 new cases on Tuesday. 

During the week of Sept. 8–14, Monroe County had two new Covid-19 deaths, 95 new cases, and eight hospital admissions. No other information was available on the recent cases. 

In all, 5,343 Monroe County residents have contracted Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, of which 5,161 have recovered. 

On Monday, the Juneau County Health Department reported that it had 170 active cases, of which five were hospitalized. Twenty-one county residents have died since the start of the pandemic. 

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