As we continue to field questions regarding coronavirus, we want to provide you with important information and connect you with reliable resources. Know that we are working closely with Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) and they have provided the information below. You can visit the PHMDC website for the latest updates.

Recently a novel coronavirus has spread from Wuhan, China to the United States and over a dozen other countries. Based on current information, the immediate health risk from the coronavirus to Dane County residents is considered low at this time. Dane County continues to only have one person with the coronavirus. Several people have been tested and they have been negative for the virus. If you want more detailed information, you can hear a daily update by calling the Public Health information line at (608) 243-0587 or view their coronavirus website.

  • If a student, family, or staff is supposed to be isolated, Public Health Madison & Dane County staff will make those arrangements with them.
  • Healthy students, families, and staff who visited China and were in the United States before February 2, 2020 can go to school as they normally would.
  • Students, families, and staff returning from China after February 2, 2020, will be contacted by Public Health Madison & Dane County on an individual basis and will be advised if they can go to school or not.
  • All students, families, and staff who are sick should stay home from school.
  • Remind your students of everyday good health habits
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
    • Cough and sneeze into tissues

We also wanted to stress the importance of avoiding assumptions or stereotypes about who you think might be sick. MMSD will not exclude people from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel. If someone is supposed to be isolated, Public Health staff will make those arrangements with them.

The coronavirus situation changes virtually every day. Follow Public Health Madison & Dane County on Facebook and Twitter to see their daily update. They also provided this fact sheet for school districts (you can find this message and fact sheets in Hmong and Spanish at  For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC's coronavirus webpage

Lastly, as a reminder, flu activity in our community is high. It’s not too late for your family to get their flu shots. As always, keep your child home if they are sick.  Any student or staff with a persistent cough and fever should stay home from school/work, per our Illness Guidelines

2/5/2020 update

As you may have seen in the news, it was announced February 5, 2020, that Wisconsin now has its first confirmed case of coronavirus. The patient is a resident of Dane County. (Read Wisconsin State Journal article for more information.) This is an update to an earlier communication when there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Dane County or Wisconsin.

We want you to know that we are continuing to work closely with Public Health Madison and Dane County and with with MMSD’s Medical Consultant, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist who gives us guidance around the coronavirus and other illnesses. 

For more information and updates go to the Public Health Madison and Dane County Website or the CDC website.  If you have concerns about the coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider. 

Also, remember Influenza (flu) is more of a threat than coronavirus at this time. If you have not had the influenza vaccine, you can still get it. And, don’t forget to wash your hands and cover your cough.

As usual, any student with a persistent cough and fever will need to stay home from school, per our Illness Guidelines. We will continue to share updates as we receive them. 

Thank you, 

Sally Zirbel-Donisch RN, MS, CPNP

Assistant Director of Health Services