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Columbus students have Tuesday off as district works to avoid virtual classes | Education

Columbus — Students and staff at Columbus schools will get an extra day of school Tuesday after two days of scheduled vacation as the district battles a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Milfred and Hands interview Dr. Patrick Remington, a UW-Madison expert on the spread of the disease, for the third time since the pandemic began two years ago. Remington, who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and educates future public health experts, says science has learned a lot about COVID-19, including the omicron variant, which is spreading rapidly in Wisconsin. The new Corona virus will not go away. But it can go in a variety of different directions, depending largely on what we humans do. Remington offers tips on going Badgers, seeing Grandpa and Grandma and living your life while being a responsible citizen who cares about others to limit exposure. Milfred and Hands are also seeking his opinion on creating a State Street park in downtown Madison, since outdoor dining slows the spread of disease.

“Since we came back from recess, the area has had a large number of illnesses on the premises,” superintendent Annette Deumann said in a letter to parents earlier this week. “However, what is most concerning for teaching and learning is that more than 40 employees have experienced symptoms, been exposed to COVID or have tested positive.”

According to the district’s COVID dashboard, cumulative totals through the week of January 7 show that 176 students and school staff have been diagnosed with COVID, or 12.44 percent of the total school population.

Deumann said in the letter that the remaining staff in the buildings had to reassign assignments and teach in additional classrooms, leaving staff exhausted.

“Because of the scale of illness among our students and especially our staff, we are dangerously close to a tipping point in virtual learning,” Deumann said in his letter to parents.

The restart strategy involves five consecutive days. Students had days off scheduled for Friday and Monday with Tuesday added as well.

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