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Focus Area: Coronavirus/COVID-19

Dane County Emergency Orders Affect Schools

Public Health Madison & Dane County has issued a number of Emergency Orders over the last couple weeks including Emergency Order #7, which took effect at 8:00 a.m. on July 2, 2020 and Emergency Order #8 which takes effect at 8:00 a.m. on July 13, 2020. (all the changes are cumulative and found in the most recent Order #8). While the issues highlighted in the media focused on the limits on gatherings and prohibitions on indoor dining and service at bars because the contact tracing team found that gatherings and visits to bars and restaurants continue to be implicated in interviews with cases, there are some new issues in these new Orders (and a predecessor Order issued on June 25th) which apply to schools in Dane County for the first time. Specifically, the new section found in Section 3. d. requires schools to:

  • Develop and implement a written hygiene policy and procedure 
  • Develop and implement a written cleaning policy and procedure 
  • Develop and implement a written protective measure policy and procedure. This policy must include; 
    • Ensuring students are 6 feet apart from each other and wear face coverings 
    • Ensuring employees are provided with and wear face coverings 
  • Develop and implement a written action plan for a COVID-19 outbreak at the school. This plan must include a strategy to communicate school closures, return to virtual learning, or other time sensitive issues. 
  • Document staff receipt, acknowledgement, or training on the policies in Sections 3.d.i‑3.d.iv.

More details on each requirement are found in the Order and Dane County Health has provided further guidance materials on its website. The Order also includes updated restrictions for summer school classroom size (no more than 15 students in class where students are 12 or under and no more than 25 students in a class if age 13 or older). 

Most important, perhaps, is the Order further requires all workplaces to post a Public Health Madison & Dane County workplace requirements fact sheet in a space easily accessible to employees describing the requirements of both the employers and employees to reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. This would include district buildings where you normally post employment notices. 

Dane County Health has been active in issuing Orders and guidance, so districts within Dane County should be on the lookout for further updates. 

DISCLAIMER: Boardman & Clark LLP provides this material as information about legal issues and not to give legal advice. In addition, this material may quickly become outdated. Anyone referencing this material must update the information presented to ensure accuracy. The use of the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship, and Boardman & Clark LLP recommends the use of legal counsel on specific matters.

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