Mask requirement for Franklin students? The numbers don’t add up

Classmunity

THIS IS IMPORTANT. PLEASE FOLLOW ALONG.

On July 27, 2021, the Associated Press (AP) reported:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

Citing new information about the variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.

A fast and furious mask blitzkrieg ensued. News headlines were alarming, predicting imminent doom with one entity after another quickly putting up the MASKS REQUIRED signs. Lost in all this frenzy has been more info from the same AP article:

The guidance (key word: guidance) on masks in indoor public places applies in parts of the U.S. with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week. 

That was July 27.

Here is the Summer Covid-19 Monitor & Transition Dashboard for Franklin Public Schools dated 7/23/21, posted by the city of Franklin. It is the latest dashboard of this kind available. Data is anything but scary.

As of August 6, 2021, here’s data regarding Franklin posted by the WI Dept. of Health Services:

FPS

New daily confirmed cases reported within Franklin Public School District as an average over the last 7 days and rate per 100,000 population: 25.10

NOTE that these are cases across all age groups within this geographic boundary (not school-specific).

New daily confirmed cases reported within Franklin Public School District as an average over the last 7 days: 7.57

CITY OF FRANKLIN

New daily confirmed cases reported within Franklin city as an average over the last 7 days and rate per 100,000 population: 23

New daily confirmed cases reported within Franklin city as an average over the last 7 days: 8.29

New daily confirmed cases reported within 53132 as an average over the last 7 days and rate per 100,000 population: 22.4

New daily confirmed cases reported within 53132 as an average over the last 7 days: 8.00

OK. What does it all mean?

I asked City of Franklin Health Director Courtney Day. Here’s what she wrote me on August 9, 2021:

Since the data in question is pulled from and interpreted from external sources (in this case by WI DHS) we cannot comment fully on how the data is collected and interpreted. WI DHS COVID pages contain an explanation on the page of how to interpret the data that is shown.  Generally DHS data is calculated on a weekly or biweekly basis, so the number of cases shown per 100,000 population should represent the number of confirmed positive cases over the last 7 days if Franklin’s population were 100,000.

Please keep in mind the numbers pulled here represent the geographic area (using Zip Code and GEO Code information) of Franklin and do not represent any one particular school district even though it is labeled as “Franklin Public” as you know we have school aged children in at least 3 different public school districts.

Franklin Health Department records indicate a total of 13 confirmed positive cases in school aged children in the past 7 days, which would be 35.6 cases per 100,000 population.

Courtney Day, RN, BSN

Director of Health and Human Services/Health Officer

Franklin Health Department

This week I asked Day for an update. She quickly responded today, August 18, 2021:

Good morning, please see below for the internal data tracked by Franklin Health Department. This data is currently for all school aged children in Franklin and not broken down by school or school district.

In the last 7 days we’ve had 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Franklin, of those, 7 (12.5%) cases were in school aged children. For August so far we have 150 confirmed cases of which 26 (17.3%) cases were school aged children.

I have been asked to provide the most up to date case counts and trend data for the school board meeting next week, so these numbers will be a bit different at that time based on how the next week plays out with cases.

Courtney Day, RN, BSN

Director of Health and Human Services/Health Officer

Franklin Health Department

It would seem that given this data, unless there are significant changes (increases), reversing the mask optional decision for students in Franklin to go to a mask requirement would be a totally unnecessary overreach.

2 thoughts on “Mask requirement for Franklin students? The numbers don’t add up

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (08/23/21) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  2. Pingback: This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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