Gov. Mike DeWine invited health officials from children’s hospitals across the country to discuss how coronavirus is impacting children and what the state can do to keep them safe as they prepare to return to school.
Dr. John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital noted that the state is seeing more older teens test positive for the virus as compared to younger children.
He said it could be because children 17 and older are driving and are more social.
Dr. Patty Manning of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said that younger children who need closer contact care could be more likely to spread the virus, whereas teens are more mobile and interact with each other more, creating opportunities to pass on the virus.
She also stressed that parents and other family members are the best at teaching children good health habits by setting an example at home.
Dr. Adam Mezoff of Dayton Children’s Hospital shared different scenarios where a student or school staff member tests positive for the virus and how the schools and health providers can determine who needs to be isolated, who needs to see a doctor for possible testing and what is considered close contact.
Mezoff and Manning both noted that ventilation is helpful for preventing the spread of the virus, encouraging teachers and coaches to take children outside or open windows when possible.
DeWine also stressed the importance of continuing to practice social distancing and wearing face masks to keep students in class and allow them to participate in sports and other extra circulars.
Currently, 325 school districts, making up 38% of the student population, in Ohio place to return to in-person learning full-time, with 55 districts returning completely online and 154 districts choosing a hybrid plan.
There are 78 schools districts whose plans were not readily available to the state.
Though the governor said he is confident in the state’s schools in preparing to return to class, he added that what’s going on in the community is reflected in schools.
“My plea to everyone today is that if we want our kids to go to school in person, to play sports, to be in extracurricular activities - it’s up to all of us to cut down the spread in our communities,” he said. “Wear masks, social distance, avoid large gatherings.”
Manning added for schools to be safe people need to wear masks, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene and keep surfaces clean.
Mercer County remained the highest in the state for coronavirus cases per population, with Champaign and Darke counties ranking second and third.
Mercer County reported 293,9 cases per 100,000 people from July 28 to Aug. 10. Champaign and Darke counties reported 185.2 and 164.3 per 100,000 respectively.
Ohio had 1,095 new cases of coronavirus reported in last day, bringing the total to 102,826 total cases and 97,373 confirmed cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Deaths increased by 35 for a total of 3,708 total deaths. There have been 3,435 confirmed deaths attributed to the virus in Ohio.
The state is reporting 80,885 presumed recoveries.
Nineteen ICU admissions were reported in the last day for a total of 2,699. Hospitalizations increased by 131 to 11,760.
Annette Chambers Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, has been cleared to return to work after previously testing positive for coronavirus, DeWine announced.