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Coronavirus Surges in Lake County, Madison Superintendent Cancels Repeat Graduation Ceremony

Madison High School was going to restage graduation on Sunday for those who felt the virtual graduation in May just wasn’t enough. But coronavirus and superintendent Joel Jorgenson have nixed that redo:

Officials with the Madison Central School District started informing the parties involved with the graduation ceremony on Friday that the July 26 commencement was called off.

In the announcement sent by email, Superintendent Joel Jorgenson stated, “As of one week ago, we were moving forward with planning for a Graduation Ceremony on the 26th.

“However, since that time in our community we have gone from 3 active Covid-19 cases to 20 active cases in the last 6 days.”

Jorgenson said the increase in active coronavirus cases in Lake County had led state Department of Health officials to classify the county as having “Substantial Community Spread” of COVID-19 [Chuck Clement, “Madison Cancels Sunday Graduation,” Madison Daily Leader, 2020.07.21].

Lake County is one of twenty South Dakota counties currently flagged by the Department of Health as having “substantial” community spread we could mostly wipe out with some sensible and consistent public health interventions.

I wonder: how many of those kids and parents who made sacrifices, wore masks, and stayed home more often in hopes of bringing coronavirus under control so they could have a nice gathering in July have seen their sacrifices mooted by a few reckless neighbors?


  1. Wade Brandis 2020-07-22 14:52

    The story I’m hearing is that over the 4th of July weekend, a Lake County or Madison resident held a party where lots of people gathered. I don’t know exact numbers but I thought I remember someone saying hundreds attended said party. It’s hard to verify information if it comes through simple word of mouth.

    And ever since that weekend, cases here have been on the rise as the Daily Leader reported. I’m seeing more people wearing masks in stores, but there’s still many more who don’t. And I’m also hearing people are still traveling to Sioux Falls to go shopping or visit friends or family, raising the community spread risks even further.

  2. o 2020-07-22 15:01

    This is what scares me about schools reopening in a few weeks: I know that schools have plans (and we have discussed the efficacy of those different plans), but I have a suspicion that all that will come to nothing because the rest of society — the very elements pushing hardest for reopening of schools — is NOT doubling down on responsible actions to make a lane for schools to reopen responsibly in the context of community safety. If a community wants to “enjoy their freedom” and not remain vigilant about keeping cases low, then how can a community’s school open without pushing the entire community health care system (and the lives of those in our community) onto tilt?

  3. Buckobear 2020-07-22 15:27

    ?? Where on the linked dep’t of health are the counties listed ?? Thax

  4. Debbo 2020-07-22 15:43

    538 has a detailed piece about COVID-19 and how testing, or a lack thereof, is but another sign that it is necessary to insist that “Black Lives Matter.”

    “Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics who has been researching the impact of COVID-19 testing center availability on communities of color, told ABC News and FiveThirtyEight that his team found that testing sites serving minority communities in big cities are fewer in number, have longer lines and often run out of tests. The impact of such disparities, he said, is evident in the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on people of color.”

  5. Debbo 2020-07-22 15:45

    Gov. Walz has just instituted a mask rule for all Minnesota indoor spaces and tightly packed outdoor spaces, except homes. He is determined to listen to science and save even the lives of the idiots who adore Covid King and lament the loss of their freedumbs!

  6. Debbo 2020-07-22 15:48

    Last, but no less important, I’m sorry for those Madison seniors who are deprived of the graduation ceremony they wanted. Selfish people are just that. Like dogs, I think they should have their noses rubbed in the mess the left behind.

  7. jerry 2020-07-22 16:53

    Wow, Mayor Allender drop the mic on GNOem and her lack of accurate information. Another great article from the Rapid City Journal!

    “Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender has suspended his weekly press conferences because of what he called a lack of communication with the South Dakota Department of Health.

    “I am likely providing delayed or inaccurate information because I don’t have access to better information and I probably never will,” Allender said Wednesday afternoon.

    He said Rapid City has recorded more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 since last week’s press conference. He found out through media reports that more than half of those were from one facility. When the mayor asked the department of health why the city wasn’t alerted to a mass testing event at the Avatara Arrowhead long-term care facility, they responded only by giving him the phone number to the local facility and told him they hold calls for the media twice a week.” Rapid City Journal 7.22.20

    Lies and damn lies coming from Pierre and from Washington. These crooks don’t deserve to be in power.

  8. grudznick 2020-07-22 17:42

    Yet South Dakota has the second lowest rate of spread. And zero cases due to the fireworks at Mt. Rushmore. And zero fires, so far, due to the fireworks. So there is that good bit of news. Minneapolisians will be wearing masks stitched to their cheeks now, if they want to go down to that old part of town Butcher & Boar place for a good drink and slab of meat.

  9. Debbo 2020-07-22 18:25

    The level of lying about Covid-19 numbers from GOP governed states and from DC is apparently quite high. Iow, it’s worse than we thought. Even many GOP leaders are getting sick of it.

  10. jerry 2020-07-22 18:27

    Yet some are so easily led that they fall for anything and everything.

  11. mike from iowa 2020-07-22 18:33

    drumpf body count continues its spectacular climb to dizzying heights, so high it has Grudzilla bewildered as a goat on astroturf….(that is high)

    Coronavirus Cases:

    South dakota’s low rates are in no way due to anything Noem Nothing has said or done.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-07-22 19:01

    Buckobear, yes, it’s a pain in the butt trying to find information on Kristi’s covid website, isn’t it? I think that’s by design, right from the top, where her front page shows the “Back to Normal Plan” and “Economic Impacts” links first before the smaller “Case Updates” button buried at third position.

    There is no list of the counties; you have to scroll down to the map, then move your mouse over each county and wait for the information to pop up.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-07-22 19:02

    A party with hundreds of people, Wade? I wonder how many graduates were at that party.

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