Coronavirus vaccine RTSA

Hudson Schools Superintendent Nick Ouellette told the School Board Monday night that the district has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over recent weeks, including 17 new cases reported over the weekend.

“We are up to about 298 cases in the school district since the start of the school year,” Ouellette said. “We haven’t had hospitalizations or deaths.”

The 298 cases include about 30 teachers and staff.

“The vast majority of them have been vaccinated,” he said.

Hudson Prairie Elementary School has had 41 cases this year. 

“I think the reason we are seeing more cases at the elementary level than anything is because it is the last group that’s not vaccinated,” Ouellete said.

The school district will hold a vaccination clinic in cooperation with St. Croix County now that the vaccine has been approved for 5 to 11 year olds.

The clinic will be at the high school Nov. 17 with a follow-up on Dec. 8. Both clinics will be from 4-7 p.m. It will only be for 5 to 11 year olds.

“It will be totally voluntary,” Ouellette said.

There will be signups ahead of time and walk-ins will be taken. The clinics will be run by St.Croix County and will be for county residents.

Ouellette said that he queried other school districts and almost all of them are seeing about 4 percent to 5 percent of COVID-19 cases among students and staff -- whether or not masks are required.

The board began discussing removing the mask matrix, which sets levels for positive COVID-19 cases and when to require masks of students.

At the high school masks have not been required for five or six weeks, the superintendent said.

There was no action taken, but most board members seemed in favor of ending the mask matrix in the coming weeks, possibly after the holidays in January.

The issue will be on the agenda in two weeks for the board to make a decision on if and when to end using the mask matrix.

“We don’t want to throw caution to the wind, but we are trying to find somewhat of a balance,” Ouellete said.

The subject came up from one speaker during the public comments portion of the meeting. The speaker, who did not give her full name, complained that masks required this week at the elementary school inhibited her daughter’s breathing and asked the board to re-evaluate the masking policy now that vaccines are available for all school-age children.

“Forcing my daughter to wear a mask is detrimental to her wellbeing,” the woman said.

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