MACS COVID-19 Resources
May 10, 2022
In light of a downward trend in COVID cases and updated public health guidance, please note that masks will no longer be required on school transportation and “masks recommended” signage will be removed from our buildings. Staff, students, and visitors are still welcome to wear masks, if they wish to do so based on each person’s individual comfort level.
Please continue to practice The Mack Way through Respect, Reverence, and Responsibility by keeping students home when sick, praying for health and wellbeing, and being aware of public health conditions and recommendations that may apply to your travel plans.
January 04, 2022
December 30, 2021
Quarantine update: Starting January 3, 2022, MACS will adopt a 5+5 rule for asymptomatic positive cases and close contacts. [Note: Close contacts who have been vaccinated or had COVID within the past six months remain exempt from quarantine.] A 5+5 rule modifies the previous 10 day rule for these two groups. Students may return to school from quarantine after 5 days, but must continue to mask and track symptoms for an additional 5 days.
Vaccine update: MACS does not require vaccination or disclosure of vaccination status. Nonetheless, all persons age 16+ whose second vaccine dose was at least six months ago are eligible and encouraged to receive a booster shot. From the CDC: “Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%. COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.”
See the full CDC release here: CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population
December 22, 2021
November 11, 2021
5-11 Year-Old Vaccines now Available
The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is now available in Wisconsin for children aged 5-11 years old. Appointments for all vaccine types, including Pfizer for 5–11 year-olds, are available at vaccinate.wi.gov.
Starting November 12, the regional community vaccination site at Jacob’s Well in Lake Hallie will be providing Pfizer vaccines for ages 5-11 with extended hours of operation, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
For more information on COVID-19 and vaccines for kids visit dhs.wisconsin.gov and see the flyer below.
Q. What happens if my child is a close contact?
Q. When does my child or family member need to stay home when showing symptoms, and when can we return? (Updated October 5, 2021)
October 1, 2021
Regarding our pandemic response, in light of current risk levels and lessons learned in this first month of school, we are making two revisions to our protocols effective Monday, October 4:
1) Masks on school transportation: In order to avoid students/students-athletes being exposed to the virus on school transportation, we will require face coverings on transportation to and from school and school events, at least until we are through this surge. The good news is that we will not need to contact trace students in these situations. This will help us keep more students in school and doing the activities they love.
2) Contact tracing/quarantine process: Due to breakdowns in the process involving public health contact tracing, which were causing frustration for all involved, MACS will conduct all contact tracing and quarantine communications for our students and staff based on contacts during school or school-sponsored activities. We will be using modified guidelines, due to the shorter incubation period for the current variant. Going forward, communications about contacts from school will come from your building principals. We have informed our public health department of this change.
September 21, 2021
Updates regarding MACS’ COVID-19 response. Full letter released by President Molly Bushman: CLICK HERE
1. Cases/Dashboard. You can find our positive cases and quarantines, updated weekly, on our MACS dashboard.
2. Limited Masking. In the event that 20% or more of a student cohort is absent due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine, the remaining students and teacher(s) in the cohort will need to wear masks while indoors for a two week period, or until the absentee rate drops below 20%.
3. Vaccines. We will not be hosting a vaccine clinic at our schools at this time nor will we mandate vaccines for students or staff. Please consult your child’s pediatrician. Vaccines.gov is a resource from the Centers for Disease Control.
4. Revision of Quarantine Rules at MACS. As you may know, persons who are vaccinated or have had a positive COVID test within the prior 90 days are not asked to quarantine, but instead to monitor for symptoms. MACS has chosen to expand the 90 day window to six months, according to science and in an attempt to keep more kids in school.
August 25, 2021
August 2021 MACS ComeBack FAQ
Q: Is MACS encouraging vaccination against COVID-19?
A: Yes, MACS encourages all families to consider vaccination for eligible students. However, we will not be collecting or tracking vaccination status. We respect parental choice and student privacy.
Q. Why is MACS recommending vaccination?
A. Vaccination is considered the most critical strategy for schools to offer safe in-person learning during this pandemic. Vaccines are widely available to ages 12 and up and are free of charge to everyone. The WIAA is strongly recommending vaccination for all student-athletes. Go to vaccines.gov for more information.
Q: Are face masks required to be worn at MACS schools?
A: No, face masks are optional, but strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals. (CDC mask recommendations HERE.) However, ALL students and staff are required to have a mask available to them at school in a secure, sanitary, and easily accessible location, e.g. their locker, desk, or backpack. Please contact the MACS Central Office at (715)723-0538 if you would like to request a mask for your student.
Q. Why isn’t MACS requiring face masks at this time?
A. As with vaccines, MACS respects the right of parents to make this decision for their own children. We are certainly not anti-mask and encourage all to be aware of current public health recommendations and risks. Compared to last year, the vaccine is widely available to individuals ages 12+ COVID-19 continues to pose a minimal risk to elementary age children. We are layering four CDC-recommended prevention strategies system-wide and we are continuing to enforce physical distancing and cohort grouping at grades K-5. Additionally, based on community feedback, masks were the least favorable of all the prevention strategies available to us. Given the conflicting data and reasonable disagreements surrounding masks, to mask or not to mask is the decision of the parent/guardian at this time. Please choose wisely.
Parents - if your student is sick, in quarantine due to COVID exposure, awaiting COVID test results, or has tested positive for COVID, you must keep them home from school. The virus is very contagious and sending a student to school inappropriately puts other families at risk.
Note: Our layered prevention strategies are reviewed weekly by our pandemic committee, with consideration of current public health information and school data. All strategies are subject to change on a weekly basis.
As always, we rely on both faith and reason to educate our students and navigate life’s challenges! Please join us in continuing to pray for a great start to the school year and the protection of our school community.
July 30, 2021
On July 30, McDonell Area Catholic Schools released the 2021-22 Back to School “MACS ComeBack” Parent & Student Guide. MACS will return to five(5)-day (full-time) in-person instruction during the 2021-2022 school year. By relying on the Lord in prayer, listening to our community, and reflecting on lessons learned, our approach to the 2021-22 school year is to welcome students back to school in a normal learning environment, with continued vigilance. Guided by the Holy Spirit and supported by your prayers, we will continue to serve our students and growing community. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).
We promise to: (1) Communicate openly with our MACS Community, including maintaining our COVID-19 Resources webpage; (2) Monitor school and local transmission of COVID-19 and variants in collaboration with Chippewa County Department of Public Health (CCDPH); and (3) Most importantly: support the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our staff and students. The MACS Pandemic Committee will continue to meet on a regular basis.
We would like to again thank our MACS parents, the pandemic team, and our MACS staff, all of whom have prayerfully collaborated to serve students and families throughout this pandemic and recovery. We are so excited about the MACS ComeBack!
June 22, 2021
Q. How important are masks for prevention/protection?
A. Click here for Mayo Clinic research.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know we are 100% committed to continuing our mission in mind, body, spirit, and community.
Thank you! To our parents, teachers, staff, and students, we are so thankful for you always. God bless you! May the gifts of the Holy Spirit shower upon you and bear fruit that will last unto eternal life.
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Our prayers continue for the intentions of our MACS community during this challenging time.
Back to School: "MACS ComeBack" Parent and Student Guide
"Sick or Exposed"
NA School Psychologists and NA School Nurses
Talking points for kids (pdf)
WI Dept of Health
Resilient - Healthy Coping
Protect Young Eyes Blog
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