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DHS will not name schools with COVID-19 outbreaks

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Wausau, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says it will not identify schools with COVID-19 outbreaks, or say how many cases there are.

Jeff Lindell, Director of Student Services with the DC Everest School district, says families will be informed.

"Our intent is to be as transparent and open as we possibly can with our families," Lindell said.

Last week, the district announced a positive COVID-19 case of a staff member of Hatley Elementary.

In a statement, the DHS says it will report only the number of active investigations at educational facilities. A public health investigation would mean that there are two or more confirmed cases at the facility.

"We'll release information based on what is pertinent to our families and to our students," Lindell said. "That's going to be different depending on what the health department recommends."

Per state statute, schools will report any possible outbreaks to local health departments. According to the DHS statement, health departments routinely report information to the state.

"They have been an incredible partner this summer, and really work to make sure that our district and the health department are working together," Lindell said.

District families can expect to receive regular communication from school administrators.

"Our district has worked really hard to have a strong social media platform, strong communication with our families," Lindell said.

In the case of an outbreak, the DHS says local health departments will work to follow up on each incident.

Several area school districts including Mosinee and Thorp have reported COVID-19 cases this summer.

For weekly updates on COVID-19 outbreaks, click here.

Natalie Sopyla

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