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Covid Information

Following the science and aligning with the guidance in order to keep students safe. 

In-person learning requires a layered approach to COVID-19 safety planning, including physical distancing when possible, wearing masks indoors, frequent hand washing, symptom screening, cough and sneeze etiquette, and other safety practices. Each strategy complements the others and work in concert to mitigate the overall risk of transmission. We will continue to assess our strategies and adapt our plan as we monitor community conditions. Currently, CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

covid heat map 2020-April 22

Tracking Coronavirus in Dane County, Wisconsin: Latest Map and Case Count

Key universal practices in the MMSD COVID-19 Safety Plan include:

Child at desk coloring with a marker with a mask on their face

Mask Up - Inside

Students and staff will wear masks while inside school and district buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Starting March 15th - Masks can be removed when eating and drinking, maintaining three feet of physical distancing.

Picture of bus

Mask Up - On Buses

Students and staff will wear masks while on buses regardless of vaccination status.

two middle school students running outside in a grassy field

Masks - Outside

Masks are recommended but not mandatory while outdoors for all grade levels. This includes masks being strongly recommended but not mandatory for outdoor athletics and events.

  • Cohorting is not required during recess starting March 15th.

desk with student sitting showing just legs with social distance sign on floor

Physical Distancing

Starting March 15th - Maintaining a minimum three feet of physical distancing (when possible) for all individuals.

  • Maintaining a physical distance of three feet at all times, including lunch.

  • Cohorting is not required indoors as long as three feet of physical distancing is still followed. We will resume the mixing of groups for educational purposes and goals.

childs hands with soap suds

Universal Health Practices

Following practices of proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, and monitoring symptoms.

Prior to coming to school, students and staff should conduct daily symptom checks and stay home if they are sick and do not feel well.

cleaning, custodian sweeping floor

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Custodial and Maintenance staff will continue “high touch-point” cleaning as be part of our daily routine.

All classrooms have been outfitted with classroom cleaning kits which will be restocked on a daily basis by our custodians.

Chilcren on a field trip looking at butterflies

Field Trips

Starting March 15th - Field trips will continue with the addition of allowing trips to venues not requiring masks, however, as long as MMSD’s mask protocol for field trips is in place, masks will be required even if the venue does not require them.

ribbon decoration at celebration

Large Events

Large events such as in-person Graduation, Prom, and Banquets will resume with the expectation participants follow the district’s current COVID-19 safety measures and current Board policies.

Child giving a thumbs up after recieving vaccine shot.

COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and older and have been shown to be highly safe and effective.

schedule an appointment with Public Health Madison & Dane County

Additional Information and Resources:


Physical Distancing

Hand Washing & Hand Sanitizer

Guidance for Visitors and Volunteers

“There is this temptation to feel, because we’ve improved, it’s all over and now everyone is safe. And that’s not true. The point is, we don’t want to backslide. We need to look at all the things we can do now that we couldn’t do before because of these interventions.”- Thomas Friedrich, Professor, Pathobiological Sciences, UW Madison

cirle graphics with illustration of school hallway in red with Covid germs in the air

Contact Tracing


Contact tracing and positive case notification

With positive COVID-19 case counts at unprecedented levels affecting all of us, our health services staff have needed to prioritize their work in order to stay ahead of an increased demand for services. As a result, they will be shifting from tracing contacts of positive cases to contacting only individuals who test positive and their high-risk close contacts (household members). In order to prioritize those who have tested positive during this surge in cases, we cannot feasibly maintain the staff resources required to maintain the level of contact tracing the district has been providing.

As a part of this shift, schools will no longer be issuing emails, texts, or phone calls to close contacts, nor providing school-wide notifications of positive cases at their school.  In order to stay informed on the number of positive cases in MMSD, we encourage visiting the district’s public case count dashboard, which is updated weekly. This also means, for the time being, families will not MMSD data shows there is very low spread of COVID-19 in Madison schools due to rigorous and layered mitigation strategies, and MMSD is one of only a few school districts in Wisconsin who, at any point during the pandemic, provided this high level of contact tracing, far exceeding requirements for schools.

A School Building Icon

Safety in our Buildings

We've made several adjustments in preparation for students and staff to return to buildings. Some of those are outlined below and in the MMSD Covid-19 Building Analysis Final Report.

Child at desk coloring with a marker with a mask on their face

Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) announced the Dane County mask mandate will expire March 1, 2022. As a result of their announcement, and with consideration of current COVID-19 metrics along with the guidance of MMSD’s medical advisory team and experts, I am writing to inform you of our plan to begin a phased approach to modifying some of the district's COVID-19 masking protocols.

Read More about Feb. 23rd Message - Phased Approach to Mask Protocols
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy

Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2021 4 AM PT

Citing mounting evidence of ongoing harm, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on Tuesday issued a public health advisory on the mental health challenges confronting youth, a rare warning and call to action to address what he called an emerging crisis exacerbated by pandemic hardships.

Read More about Surgeon general warns of emerging youth mental health crisis in rare public advisory
an open letter to schools and parents

“Children are our most precious resource, and we must do everything we can to keep them safe as they return to the classroom,” said Dr. Ellen Wald, chair of the department of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and infectious disease physician at UW Health. “In-person learning is important for our children. This letter is all about how we can work together – parents, teachers, schools and healthcare providers – to have a safe and positive return to school this year.”

Read More about Nearly 500 pediatricians sign open letter calling for COVID-19 safety precautions