School District of River Falls cancels two days
There will be no school, in person or remote, on Monday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 23 in the School District of River Falls.
"Since the start of the school year, we have seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases as well as increased staff shortages due to sickness and a substitute shortage," Superintendent Jamie Benson said in a letter home to parents. He noted three main reasons for the cancellations:
1. Decrease COVID-19 transmission rates
To create a 9-day window of opportunity, potentially diminishing the current COVID-19 transmission rate. "In the first two weeks of November, we have as many student and staff COVID-cases as we did in all of October," Benson wrote in the letter. "Our community numbers are also very high."
2. Avoid staff shortages
"To avoid anticipated staff shortages and a lack of substitute staff," the letter says. "In the first two weeks of November, we had 31 unfilled teaching positions and 49 unfilled support staff positions due to COVID mitigation measures and other illnesses. As we monitor trends and project anticipated absences, there is a growing trajectory of concern about our ability to appropriately staff buildings in the near future.
3. Deep clean
Busses and facilities will be deep cleaned during the two day school cancellation.
Contacting positive COVID-19 cases in St. Croix County
St. Croix County has reported 597 positive cases of COVID-19 within the first seven days of November 2021. The County is averaging over 85 cases per day, a level we have not since last year. Due to the high volume of positive COVID-19 cases, St. Croix County Public Health may not be able to personally contact everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 by phone within 48 hours. St. Croix County Public Health will send automated text, phone and email alerts to residents who tested positive and have not been contacted by Public Health. These automated alerts will have a link to more information about what to do after testing positive for COVID-19.
Automated email alerts will only be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. Automated text or phone alerts will only be sent from 715-246-8224
A member of our Public Health Department may follow up with you using a different phone number than listed above. To avoid potential scams, please do not reply to or click links in messages that ask you for payment or financial information. Contact tracers and messages from Public Health will NOT ask you for money or payment, social security, or bank account information. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a message, please contact Public Health at the phone number or email listed above. You can find more information on what to do after you have tested positive on the St. Croix County website.
Pierce County offering vaccines for kids
Late last week the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced its support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that children 5-11 years old receive the 2-dose pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine (1/3 of the dose of the adult vaccine).
Pierce County Public Health (PCPH) and local pediatric doctors support this recommendation.
Dr. Amber Morgan, a pediatrician based in River Falls, says there are many really good reasons why parents should get COVID-19 vaccine for their children.
“COVID-19 is among the top 10 causes of death for children in this age group. Now, we have the opportunity to move COVID-19 off that list. The Pfizer vaccine is safe and highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in children,” Morgan said. “I am recommending the Pfizer vaccine for my patients, and it is what I am doing for my own children.”
About 8,300 children in this age group have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 nationally. About a third of children in this age group who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 had no underlying health conditions.
The vaccine is recommended for children who have had a previous COVID-19 infection because natural immunity is highly variable, and the risk of reinfection after natural infection is two to five times higher than the risk of reinfection with vaccines.”
To help answer other questions many parents have, PCPH developed a FAQ document with some of the most common parent concerns.
There are several options available locally to get your child vaccinated against COVID-19:
Contact your pediatrician, family doctor or pharmacist about the pediatric Pfizer vaccine.
Freeman Drug in River Falls will offer the pediatric Pfizer vaccine this month.
Pierce County will offer the pediatric Pfizer on Nov. 23 in Ellsworth. Appointments will be available starting Friday the Nov. 12 on the Pierce County website and via phone at 715-273-6755.
Other vaccination sites are listed on vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US.