Coronavirus: State to report K-12 cases each week, DeWine says

Ohio K-12 schools will be required to create a coronavirus reporting system to allow parents to report cases to the district, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

Schools should report any student and staff cases to their health departments, which then will report the cases weekly to the Ohio Department of Health. Data will be shared each Wednesday on the state’s coronavirus website, the governor said during his Thursday briefing.


“Prompt reporting will help prevent potential further spread among students and staff,” DeWine said. “But remember: just because there is a case at a school, it doesn’t mean the school has done anything wrong. The spread you see in the community will be reflected in the schools.”

Schools also should make information about positive cases publicly available, as well as notify parents and guardians in writing about new cases. Districts should include as much information as possible without sharing protected health information, the governor said.

Montgomery County moved back to level 3 with Clark County dropping down to level 2 on the color-coded Ohio Public Health Advisory System, DeWine reported.

Preble and Mercer counties remained at level 3 and the remainder of the Miami Valley stayed at level 2. This week marked the fewest number of red counties in the state, the governor said. Seventy-six counties remained at the same level as last week, which is the least amount of movement Ohio has seen.

DeWine revealed Thursday that the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns have submitted detailed plans to the state that would allow spectators.

The governor explained the plans are very “doable” but that the state isn’t there yet in making a decision.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted clarified language in a public health order setting guidelines for athletic competitions in Ohio.

Previously, the order said more than one competition couldn’t take place in 24 hours. It is being updated to say a team can’t participate in multiple competitions in one calendar day.

Husted explained under the original wording, a team with a game scheduled for Friday night would not be able to participate in a game Saturday morning. The update will allow both games to take place.

More than 1,200 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Ohio Thursday, bringing the total to 118,828, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

DeWine said the slight increase in new cases is not a surprise as students return to school and college campuses.

Rural communities are continuing to see the virus spread, with rural counties making up the majority of the top 10 counties for coronavirus by population.

There have been 4,076 deaths throughout the pandemic, with 32 reported in the last 24 hours.

Hospitalizations increased by 107 for a total of 13,150. Nine ICU admissions were reported in the last day, bringing it to 2,929 admissions attributed to the virus throughout the pandemic.

The state is reporting 99,035 presumed recoveries. More than 2 million people have been tested for coronavirus in Ohio. As of Tuesday, the seven-day positivity average is 4.2%.

Ohio is warning against all travel to four states with a coronavirus positivity rate of 15% or higher. The four states are Mississippi, 274%; South Carolina, 21.1%; Texas, 16.3%; and Idaho, 16.1%.

Anyone traveling to Ohio from those states are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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