The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the city of Madison’s public health agency in a dispute over the power to close schools during the pandemic.

A top city health official decried Friday’s decision, saying it would put children at risk.

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officers cannot close schools within their jurisdictions. We are extremely disappointed in the court’s decision, which has much further reaching implications than just this current pandemic,” health director Janel Heinrich said.. “This decision hinders the ability of local health officers in Wisconsin to prevent and contain public health threats for decades to come.”