HUDSON -- The Hudson School Board will consider a potential shift to its COVID-19 metric, as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has made individual district area data available.
Currently, the board uses countywide data alongside its own district cases to determine what level of instruction a school building should be at — face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning.
The current metric has grades 10-12 at virtual distance learning, middle school and ninth grade in a hybrid model and all elementaries in face-to-face. Switching to using district area data would move all grades back to face-to-face.
“It would be a big shift from where we are,” Superintendent Nick Ouellette said.
Board member Heather Logelin said she likes having district-specific data, but the countywide data gives an idea of the regional picture as many from throughout the county come into Hudson. Board member Carrie Whitacre said they should look at the numbers how it affects district residents.
The metric and COVID-19 updates will be discussed at a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17.
North Hudson Elementary has hit seven cases in its two-week count, which is the number that shifts it into hybrid instruction on the current metric. It is the first elementary school that has had a high enough case count to warrant a change from face-to-face instruction.
Board members said they hesitated to move the school to hybrid, as it's a difficult transition and the elementary age range is not as much of a risk. Of the seven positive cases, two are siblings in the same household, which Board President Jamie Johnson pointed to as another reason for hesitancy.
If the case numbers reach 10 at North Hudson Elementary, the board agreed Tuesday to convene in a special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 9, to determine if it should be switched to hybrid. If not, the elementary school will continue in face-to-face instruction.
There were 17 active cases at the high school, 13 at the middle school and 12 at the elementaries as of Monday, Dec. 7.
In total, the district has seen 230 COVID-19 cases this year: 172 in students and 58 in staff.
Just over 80% of people have recovered. Three people in the district have been hospitalized, and one is currently hospitalized.
The district has had a total of 1,273 close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case. Since Nov. 23, there have been 193 close contacts. Of those, 68 were related to contacts within school buildings. The remaining 125 close contacts occurred outside of school.
Currently, the high school has 43 people out for close contacts, the middle school has 39 out and the elementaries have 111.