De Pere Health Department advises against in-person learning:

A message from the
De Pere Health Department & Mayor

DE PERE – As positive cases continue to rise in the City of De Pere, Brown County and in record numbers within the state of Wisconsin, the De Pere Health Department would like to publicly reaffirm its long-held stance that in-person school instruction in our City is not advisable for staff and students until case numbers reach safe thresholds.

At present time Brown County is positioned at the highest risk level for transmission in schools based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) indicators, producing more than 1,000 new positive Covid-19 cases within the last 14 days, per 100,000 individuals.

These CDC indicators are considered alongside detailed reports from the White House on the current and projected Covid-19 numbers in the state of Wisconsin; published advisement from the American Academy of Pediatrics; Brown County data; and the De Pere Health Department’s first-hand, collaborative response and analysis of local cases with fellow area public health agencies, among many other additional health resources, reports and data.

Due to the totality of data indicating a current strong risk of community spread, the De Pere Health Department remains firm in its recommendation that all components of the De Pere community be steadfast in limiting transmission of the virus.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that there is currently uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2 in much of our country, and we share their concern,” said Deborah Armbruster, director of the De Pere Health Department. “What that unfortunately means, quite simply, is that while we all advocate and hope for in-person learning for our children due to numerous recognized mental, social and psychological benefits, the current widespread circulation of this virus will not permit in-person learning to be safely accomplished in many jurisdictions, including ours. De Pere is not an exception. The virus is here in our City and neighboring region, and spreading at unsafe levels. The De Pere Health Department cannot recommend in-person instruction at this time as a result.”

“Moreover, we acknowledge that stopping the spread extends to our entire community, and we remind everyone in the City of De Pere to please continue to adhere to string mitigation strategies: handwashing, masking, social distancing and not attending or hosting large gatherings of any kind.”

Prevea Health President CEO Dr. Ashok Rai offered his viewpoint, referencing the AAP’s statement as well:

“In healthcare it is not our place to make this decision for school boards. We do offer data in conjunction with public health to assist with their decision making, and currently our local data has only worsened over the last few weeks,” Dr. Rai said, adding “We also stand with the American Academy of Pediatrics and their written statement: ‘Although the AAP strongly advocates for in-person learning for the coming school year, the current widespread circulation of the virus will not permit in-person learning to be safely accomplished in many jurisdictions.’”

De Pere Mayor James Boyd also said he supports the health department’s stance.

“I fully support the De Pere Health Department’s unwavering stance that in-person learning should not be conducted currently in our City,” Mayor Boyd said. “To be clear, as a former educator and coach for decades in the City of De Pere, including having been a teacher during the pandemic at the end of last school year, I fully empathize with the ongoing challenges facing staff, instructors, athletes, parents and students during this pandemic. These are difficult times, and I understand each of us longs for a sense of normalcy. However, we need to remain vigilant in stopping the spread of Covid-19. In-person instruction may pose significant, unnecessary risk to our students and staff, their family members or guardians at home, and the local businesses and organizations they are involved in or support.

“I urge everyone in in the City of De Pere – businesses, schools, community groups and residents alike – to remain proactive in supporting and maintaining safe conditions in our City.”

For the latest case totals and updates related to Covid-19 in the City of De Pere, please visit or follow the City’s social media platforms.