Coronavirus: School virus reporting to start Sept. 8, more details released

Gov. Mike DeWine released more information on an order that will require school districts to create a coronavirus reporting system where parents could notify schools of confined cases of the virus.

Starting Sept. 8, parents and staff should notify their school of any positive coronavirus diagnosis within 24 hours. Schools will then report student and staff cases to their local health departments, which will in turn report cases to the state, the governor said

On Thursdays, the state coronavirus dashboard will include cases reported by schools, which will feature a breakdown of student and staff cases.

Under the order, school districts are also required to notify parents and guardians of cases in writing within 24 hours of receiving notification. Schools should provide as much information as possible without releasing protected information, DeWine said.

“We understand there is a balance between privacy and transparency,” he said. “Again, we do not intend for protected health information to be released in our effort to provide information to Ohioans so they can make the right decisions for their family.

Districts will also have coronavirus coordinator who will help with reporting cases. Schools should start reporting positive cases to health departments every Tuesday starting Sept. 15. A template will be available on the state’s coronavirus website.

The governor noted that just because a school has a confirmed case of coronavirus it does not mean it did anything wrong.

“Schools can’t control what happens out in the community where someone may have contracted the virus,” he said.

The state released update health advisory levels Thursday, with four counties in the Miami Valley region at level 3: Montgomery, Butler, Preble and Mercer.

Butler County moved up from level 2, with the other three counties remaining at level 3.

DeWine cited cases at Miami University and University of Dayton as contributing factors in Butler and Montgomery counties.

Montgomery County also was ranked second highest in the state for coronavirus occurrences from Aug. 19 to Sept. 1. Butler County was ranked fourth, with Darke, Mercer, Shelby and Auglaize counties also making the top 10.

Champaign County was the only level 1 county in the Miami Valley region, with the remaining counties at level 2.

DeWine asked Ohioans to be mindful of health guidelines and to avoid large gatherings during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“We can still have fun and get together with family,” he said. “We can travel. But it’s not so much where we go, it’s what we do and how we do it. It’s how we act when we’re with family and friends, it’s the precautions we take.”

Following the 4th of July, Ohio was averaging 1,500 new cases a day and even set a state record on July 30 with 1,733 cases reported in one day.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported the second highest number of new cases, 1,453, since the end of July.

Nearly 1,350 coronavirus cases were reported in Ohio in the last day, for a total of 127,112 cases reported during the pandemic, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Deaths increased by 50, the most reported since June, DeWine said. There have bee 4,226 total deaths attributed to the virus in the state.

ICU admissions passed the 3,000 mark with 14 admissions reported in the last day.

Hospitalizations grew by 89, bringing the total to 13,663.

The state is reporting 106,095 presumed recoveries.

The governor noted that six months have passed since Columbus announced a decision to not allow spectators at the Arnold Classic, marking on the of Ohio’s earliest moves to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

DeWine said the decision set the state on a “very good path” on its battle against the virus.

“It was the right decision,” he said. “It was a touch decision.”

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