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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has now been authorized for emergency use in children ages 5 to 11, but the Colfax school district will not be offering vaccine clinics.
In the past, blood drives have been held in the lobby of the Martin Anderson Gymnasium, so would the school district consider doing a vaccination clinic? asked Ken Neuburg, school board member, at the Colfax Board of Education’s November 15 meeting.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine authorized for use in children ages 5 to 17.
The idea of vaccine clinics has been discussed on the county level, but Mayo Clinic, Walgreens, and other places, are offering the vaccines for children, and Colfax will not host a vaccine clinic as a school district, said William C. Yingst Jr., school district administrator.
If the Dunn County Public Health Department needed a host site for a community vaccine clinic, the Martin Anderson lobby could be used for the community, he said.
“I did not commit for the school,” Yingst said.
KT Gallagher, director of the Dunn County Public Health Department, said at the October 28 meeting of the Dunn County Health and Human Services Board that the health department currently had no plans to set up vaccine clinics at schools.
The health department would want parents to actually be there when their children are being vaccinated so there is fully-informed consent, she said.
The Dunn County Health Department will be receiving some pediatric doses of the vaccine. Some people do not have a primary care provider, or there is a problem with getting to a clinic, so the Dunn County Health Department is available by appointment to do vaccinations, Gallagher said..
During a weekly meeting by Zoom of superintendents in school districts in West Central Wisconsin, a physician for Prevea talked about the vaccines for children, Yingst said.
The time period from the first shot of the vaccine, and then the second shot, and then another two weeks before children are considered fully vaccinated, is five weeks, he said.
As of 2:15 p.m. on the day of the school board meeting, the Colfax school district had five new cases of COVID-19, Yingst said.
The total number of active cases was 12, and there were 41 quarantined. The week prior to the school board meeting, there were around 90 quarantined from the school district, he said, noting that two staff members also are out with positive COVID-19 cases.
According to information posted by Dunn County, as of November 15, there were 260 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, with 67 probable cases and 11 active cases that were hospitalized.
As of November 16, 48 Dunn County residents had died from the disease.
The Colfax Board of Education did not make any changes to the Back-to-School plan.
“We will keep doing what we are doing now,” said Todd Kragness, president of the school board.
In other business at the November 15 meeting, the Colfax Board of Education approved renewing the girls’ golf cooperative with the Elk Mound school district.
The number of participants has increased, and there is a fair amount of interest in girls’ golf, Yingst said, noting that Colfax is the host school for the cooperative and that this is the second year for the girls’ golf co-op.
If Colfax approves continuing with the cooperative, then the Elk Mound school board will have to consider whether to approve the cooperative again, he said.
If both school boards approve the girls’ golf cooperative, then the application will go to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) for another two years of continuing the cooperative, Yingst said.
The girls’ golf cooperative is on a two-year cycle, he noted.
The Colfax Board of Education unanimously approved renewing the girls’ golf cooperative with the Elk Mound school district.