The Oconomowoc Area School District has reported one positive COVID-19 student case and zero staff positives for coronavirus since classes started, the superintendent told Wisconsin Right Now on Sept. 11.
However, 15 students are in COVID-19 quarantine and 24 are in COVID-19 isolation in the Oconomowoc Area School District, he said. In addition, four staff members are in quarantine.
There were 61 active COVID-19 cases of those under the age of 18 in Waukesha County school district boundaries as of Sept. 11, 2020, according to public health data obtained by Wisconsin Right Now.
We contacted Superintendent Roger Rindo on Sept. 11 to get OASD’s numbers. Here’s what we learned.
Oconomowoc Schools COVID-19 Numbers
Active child cases in school district boundaries per Waukesha County: 5 (age range: 15-18)
The county lists the numbers as “active child cases in school district boundaries.” As a result, that may include non-school age children, private schools, and homeschooled children, as well as public schools. We have also contacted each Waukesha County public school district and/or perused their COVID-19 dashboards to obtain district-level COVID-19 numbers. Those coronavirus numbers may be different from the “active child cases in school district boundaries” statistics for the above reasons.
The Oconomowoc Area School district’s COVID-19 dashboard can be found here.
Superintendent Rindo told Wisconsin Right Now on Sept. 11 that 1 student has tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, with no staff testing positive.
The dashboard shows 15 students are in COVID-19 quarantine and 24 are in COVID-19 isolation. Quarantine is defined as, “Quarantine applied to students who are not able to attend school because they have been identified as having contact with someone that has been confirmed to have COVID-19 which requires a quarantine period depending on the type of contact (household or school).” Isolation means, “Isolation applies to students who are not able to attend school because they either have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have COVID-19 which requires an isolation period.”
Four staff members are in quarantine. There are zero positive cases and zero people in isolation.
The School District is also tracking absences due to illness compared to previous years, but, so far, there’s not a major spike.
Since the start of the school year there has been one student who has tested COVID-19 positive and zero staff members who have tested positive. In order to remain consistent with Waukesha County reporting and to maintain student privacy, OASD will only report District-level Quarantine, COVID-19 Isolation, and COVID-19 Positive numbers when the totals are less than 5. When cases are greater than 5, we will share those at the building-specific level as well.
He added: “Please understand this is not an attempt to be evasive, but to protect the privacy of the student(s) in places where cases are less than 5. This is consistent with Waukesha County guidance.”
The district published a chart that shows that, as of Sept. 11, the highest number of cases of school-age children attending the Oconomowoc District peaked on Sept. 2, when there were 2.
As for school-age children living in OASD boundaries, the district reported that the peak day was 14 on Aug. 28. The number on Sept. 10 was 6.
We asked Waukesha County’s Health Department to break down the active child cases by school and they wrote us this back, “Waukesha County’s COVID-19 dashboard currently provides cases of school-aged individuals and the geographic boundaries of the school district they live in. The information is provided at this level in order to preserve Protected Health Information (PHI), as regulated by HIPAA. PHI is any health information that could be used to identify an individual.”
Elizabeth Tomev, Director of Communications for the state Department of Public Instruction, told Wisconsin Right Now that DPI “does not track the number of COVID-19 positive tests among students and staff. A principal, teacher, or school nurse per state statute must report a case of a communicable disease to local public health officials.”