Winneconne Elementary goes virtual for 2 weeks due to COVID-19

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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WINNECONNE, Wis. (WBAY) - A COVID-19 outbreak is forcing Winneconne Elementary School to go virtual for two weeks, and changes are being made at the elementary and middle school levels.

A letter to parents obtained by Action 2 News says Winneconne Elementary classes are online through Friday, October 1, with students scheduled to return the following Monday, Oct. 4. The virtual school began Tuesday.

Winneconne District Administrator Peggy Larson said, “We had three classrooms already going virtual and then we just added another two and essentially we just had so many numbers turning positive we thought the prudent thing was to have all of the students go virtual due to the high numbers.”

Also effective Tuesday, face masks are required for all Winneconne Middle School students, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated, through October 22.

Elementary students will also have to wear face masks through Oct. 22 once they return.

The school district says it will re-evaluate the mask policy later in October.

There are no changes planned for Winneconne High School at this time, the letter says.

According to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard, the elementary school had 38 positive COVID-19 cases (35 students, 3 staff) as of 3 P.M. Tuesday, including 18 students who became positive after close contacts at the school. There are another 42 students and 2 staff members quarantined because of a close contact outside of the school.

The middle school had 21 positive COVID-19 cases (19 students, 2 staff), including 2 students who tested positive after a close contact at the school. There were 27 students in quarantine because of a close contact outside of school, and 193 students suspected of a close contact within the school but not quarantined.

The high school has 12 positive cases (11 students, 1 staff), including 1 student who tested positive after a COVID contact inside the school. There were 14 students in quarantine because of close contacts outside of school. Another 133 students are suspected of having a close contact with a COVID-positive person inside the school but aren’t currently quarantined.

“I would encourage all school districts at this point to be full masked in order to keep kids in school as long as possible. We have a vaccine that is on the verge of being approved,” said Winnebago County Health Officer Doug Gieryn.

The school district does not plan to put students on an alternating schedule to halve the school population on a given day and allow more social distancing, but the letter to parents says they’ll be informed next week which days their children would attend school if that eventually is needed.

Larson added, “It’s unfortunate, however, our teachers and all of our staff are ready to take on the challenge of helping kids learn from home.”

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