The Poynette School District announced this week that students and staff at all three levels of schools will be required to wear face coverings until at least Thursday, Jan. 20.

This is based on the most recent information reported to the district. As of Thursday, Jan. 13, there have been 33 cases reported to the district in the two weeks since students and staff returned from the holiday break.

The face covering requirement began on Tuesday, Jan. 11 and must remain in place for at least 10 calendar days. If COVID rates decline, the district anticipates returning to masks being “highly recommend” beginning Friday, Jan. 21. That date may be extended based on local COVID activity.

Updates will be provided to families, and on the district’s website, prior to Jan. 20

When the School Board approved new mitigation strategies — basically making masks optional — at its December meeting, it included maximum cases needed across each school, and the district, to require masks again.

Those limits were five unique cases at the elementary school, or four each at the middle and high school across 14 days. If those limits were reached at any school, that particular school building would require masks. Also, if the district saw 15 cases within a seven-day period, all buildings would require masks once again, for at least 10 calendar days.

The district was just under that total during the week of Jan. 3, having 14 positive cases reported. In the first four days of the week of Jan. 10, the district has seen 19 reported cases. That is the most cases the district has seen since late September in a one-week period. The 33 cases in the last two weeks is also the most during a 14-day stretch since Sept. 13-24, when the district saw 55 cases. There have been 177 cases reported to the district since the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year..

Voluntary testing to begin Jan. 18 at middle school

A voluntary COVID testing site will be available at Poynette Middle School starting Tuesday, Jan. 18. The tests will be provided by Accelerated Clinical Lab at no cost to students, staff or anyone else. No appointments are necessary. Testing will be done Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by entering the middle school from the North doors (near the playground structure).

Any student, staff or family member who has reason to be in the buildings can be tested. Prior to testing, individuals must answer a short questionnaire at register.covidconnect.wi.gov/en-US/. They will then be given a QR code that will be scanned at the time of testing.

PCR tests will be available, and Antigen tests may be available for student and staff at a future date. Students must have permission from a parent/guardian to be tested. Anyone under 17 years old must also have a parent/guardian present for testing.

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