The Madison Central School Board has made an adjustment to it’s policy regarding close contacts and quarantine in relation to positive COVID-19 cases within the school district’s buildings.  Superintendent Joel Jorgenson told the Board during it’s meeting Monday that currently, if a student or staff member has been identified as a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case in school, that person has been required to quarantine outside of school for fourteen days.  Jorgenson said that there have been some students or staff who have had to do this a couple of times and he said he’s concerned about the effect it is having.

Jorgenson said that the district’s requirement of face coverings, social distancing measures, and a newly installed air purification system should all come into play when considering whether a close contact within the school setting should have to be out of the school for fourteen days.  He said that if both the person who tested positive for COVID-19 and the close contact were wearing face coverings, then they could allow the close contact student to remain in school and have their symptoms checked twice a day for the fourteen days.  

Board President Tom Farrell said that they have to look at the effect on both the students and the teachers.

Farrell said that in some situations, allowing the students to remain in school and be monitored for any symptoms may be better than having that done at home.  

Board member Angi Kappenman said that having students and staff wearing masks each day within the schools should be taken into consideration.

The school district is not changing its definition of a close contact, which is someone who is within six feet of a person who tests positive for fifteen minutes or more.  The change will be in the requirement for the student or staff member to quarantine outside of the school.  Parents will be notified if their student is a close contact, and it will be up to them to choose if their student remains in school or quarantines at home for the fourteen days.  

Superintendent Jorgenson said that the Madison Central School District has been doing well so far.

Jorgenson said that the update approved by the board Monday will be posted to the school district’s Back to School Plan.