Covid in the county

As Sheridan School District shuts down due to positive cases quarantine process discussed

According to Montana State Library’s COVID-19 dashboard there were 39 active cases of Covid-19 in Madison County as of Sept. 7, 11 of those new from the day prior.

Madison County Public Health Director Emilie Sayler offered these numbers and others to county commissioners during their weekly Covid update. Sayler said the numbers were somewhat outdated due to the holiday weekend, and she expects to see case numbers rise in the coming days.

As positive cases of Covid in county schools have been reported some community members attended the commission meeting to express concerns regarding the effects of mandatory quarantines for students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Ennis School Board Trustee Kyle Stone cited concerns with quarantined students getting behind in their studies as well as mental health issues related to being away from school, and affirmed his opinion that the disease is not making students extremely ill.

A parent of a student at Sheridan School District, which is currently shut down due to an outbreak in cases, offered her concern, stating, “This is just not feasible for parents, I just urge you as commissioners to do what you can to drop these quarantine orders.”

Sayler agreed that her office doesn’t want to place kids in quarantine, but the effort is about more than protecting students.

We don’t want to quarantine these kids, we want them in school,” said Sayler. “What we ran into this week (at Sheridan School District) wasn’t because of the number of quarantined students, it was because of the number of infected students. When we run into that we have to consider how closely our schools are related to high-risk individuals in our communities, we’ve got parents that work in the nursing homes, we’ve got parents who volunteer with the elderly, and the sick, drive high-risk people to their appointments. So, when it reaches that volume we really have to try to rein it in.”

Commissioners have the power to change the current quarantine order and will take these concerns into consideration. The Madison County Public Health Department board will hold a public meeting later this month.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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