Total cases more than tripled in eight days

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Burlington Area School District on Sept. 13 registered 12 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including eight with an active infection, according to its dashboard.

However, eight days later, the district dashboard recorded 266% increase in confirmed cases among staff and students.

As of Tuesday, the dashboard showed 42 total cases, including 26 active infections.

While officials noted nine active cases at BHS, another 11 have come from Karcher Middle School, according to the dashboard.

Other confirmed active cases include three at Lyons Center Elementary, two at Dyer Elementary and one at Waller Elementary School.

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, 23 students and staff from five total schools are in active quarantine because of school exposure.

“The district does not include the number of students/staff required to quarantine due to exposure that happen outside of school,” the district states on its dashboard.

Quarantine typically happens for people who had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

Health officials consider a close contact if a person came within six feet for 15 minutes or more without a mask, or less than three feet apart for 15 minutes or more with or without a mask.

Close contacts, meanwhile, also include people who had direct physical contact with the person such as hugging, kissing, a handshake, became exposed to an infected person’s respiratory secretions, or stayed overnight for at least one night in a household with the person.

If vaccinated, but no symptoms develop, a person who had contact with a COVID-19 positive person does not need to quarantine.

However, if a vaccinated person has symptoms, they must quarantine and receive a COVID-19 test.

While the district offers multiple quarantine options, including 7- and 10-day periods depending on vaccination status and test results, officials recommend a 14-day quarantine for people exposed to an infected person as the safest option.

“It is best practice for anyone who is a close contact to wear a mask for 14 days,” the district wrote on its website. “When a close contact happens due to a school-related exposure, BASD will send a quarantine letter.”

In 2020-21, when the district had a mask mandate and hybrid learning model for upper grade levels, officials reported 228 confirmed cases.

However, as of Tuesday, the 44 total cases account for 19.3% of the 2020-21 tally less than one month into the new school year.

“The district uses several layers of risk mitigation in its schools such as having people who are ill stay home, hand hygiene, social distance, cleaning of buildings,” the district states on its website. “Please help the schools stay healthy by making good choices in and outside of school.”

See the Sept. 23 edition of the Burlington Standard Press for a story detailing the COVID-19 caseload throughout Racine County.