Ugh. All of the disruption… all of the expense to families… all of the missed work… for something that is more likely to make the problem worse than better. Stupid government.
Gov. Tony Evers on Friday ordered the state Department of Health Services to close all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
The shutdown will begin Wednesday and run through April 5, though it could be extended, Evers’ office said in a statement.
“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on closings and cancellations for schools. It said schools, working with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases and that all decisions on closures should be made at the local level.
Among the factors to be considered, it said, are whether there is an infected person in the school or community and whether staff or students have traveled to high-risk areas.
But, it said, closing schools early in the spread of disease for a short time — for example two weeks — “will be unlikely to stem the spread of disease or prevent impact on the health care system, while causing significant disruption for families, schools and health care workers.”
In addition it said it may increase the impact on older adults who are enlisted to take care of children kept home from school.
Available modeling data indicate that early, short to medium closures do not impact the epi curve of COVID-19 or available health care measures (e.g., hospitalizations). There may be some impact of much longer closures (8 weeks, 20 weeks) further into community spread, but that modelling also shows that other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures. In other countries, those places who closed school (e.g., Hong Kong) have not had more success in reducing spread than those that did not (e.g., Singapore)