Dear MMSD Families,
Recently, we were informed of Public Health, Madison and Dane County’s new coronavirus Emergency Order as well as Executive Order #94 PDF, released by Governor Tony Evers. Both orders highlight the crisis Dane County and Wisconsin face as COVID-19 cases skyrocket to alarming new levels.
Over a seven-day period ending last Wednesday, Wisconsin averaged 6,564 new cases per day, a new high. Additionally, state health officials reported 74,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, with our state recording a tragic average of 53 deaths per-day over the last 7 days.
Unfortunately, this spike comes at a time when many families have prepared to gather for the holiday break at the end of this week. It is vitally important for us, as we gather to share gratitude with loved ones, to remember what these recent public health numbers indicate. They tell our community we have reached a critical moment in the fight against this pandemic. These numbers also serve as a community call-to-action, while further demonstrating now is not a time for complacency. Rather, it is time for all of us to double-down on safety precautions and remain resolute in our focus on mitigating the potential for further spread of COVID-19.
MMSD’s protocols around the virus are absolutely vital as our first line of defense. At the district and school level, leaders have been reinforcing the importance of strictly adhering to safety protocols with everyone in our buildings. Although these protocols have proven effective in our school buildings, it is also imperative public health safety guidance be practiced when at home or in public spaces. As a school community, we all have a hand in this fight to keep each other safe and well.
We recognize the struggles and challenges all of us have had to overcome, month after month, throughout the duration of this pandemic. For good reason, many among us have grown weary of the day-day-challenges this pandemic presents. Our community has a genuine desire to be back to a normal and coronavirus-free place. However, we can never lose sight of our ultimate responsibility, which is to ensure the health and safety of you, your family and our community.
Please remember, as a community, we are all in this together. Thank you for taking every precaution possible when you are at home, at work and in public. All MMSD educators are clear about how we look forward to the day when it is safe to come back together in person. Please do your part to make this desire a reality!
Carlton D. Jenkins Ph.D.