Leaders work to address COVID-19 case surge in Stoughton

STOUGHTON (WKOW) — Public Health Madison and Dane County data from Friday shows the two week average of COVID-19 cases in Stoughton was between 50-60 per 10,000 people.

Mayor Tim Swadley says it was a surprising figure and he’s trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

“It’s my understanding that it was a single occurrence. There were some students that had a bonfire, outside of school hours, and that some of the students contracted COVID and others were placed under quarantine,” he said.

Dr. Tom Murwin with SSM Health in Stoughton said it’s not unique to this community.

“The transmission is not happening at school, it’s happening when they’re not following the rules outside of school,” Dr. Murwin said. “It gets back to the more people get vaccinated, the quicker we get out of this COVID mess.”

Meanwhile, PHMDC tells 27 News Stoughton has lower vaccination rates than other Dane County communities.

Swadley says they’re working with health partners in the area to get those numbers up.

“If they need vaccinations, we’re constantly updating where there are supplies and in a small town, word travels fast,” he said. “So at this point vaccinations are available and we’d like people to take advantage of that.”

Even though Mayor Swadley says this was an isolated surge, he hopes that it serves as a learning experience for folks here in Stoughton, especially with the annual Syttende Mai festival coming up in two weeks.

“This incident that occurred is a reminder that this thing isn’t over and that it’s going to be an ongoing concern for us,” he said. “The best thing we can do is continue to do what we’ve learned and once we’re able to do that, things will get back to normal.”

Despite the cases, Syttende Mai is still going on in a couple weeks.

Mayor Swadley says the city is taking precautions.

The parade will be a drive-by event and they’re pre-recording many of the performances so people can watch the festivities from home.

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