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COVID-19 & Ohio: An Update from the Ohio BWC

August 11, 2020

Today, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided updates on the status of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic in Ohio.

DeWine continued to stress the importance of masks, social distancing and proper hygiene as Ohio's school students approach the start of the upcoming school year. 

"I have every confidence that Ohio's schools will do everything they can to keep children safe, but any spread happening in the broader community will, without a doubt, be reflected in Ohio's classrooms," said DeWine. "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."

Currently, Ohio has left the decision to individual school districts on how to approach the new school year. 

According to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), 325 public school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time, which equates to approximately 590,000 students. A total of 55 districts representing approximately 398,000 public school students will begin the school year remotely. Approximately 380,000 students in 154 public school districts will start the school year with a hybrid approach of online and in-person learning. According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), information on 78 public school distracts was not readily available. 

Today, three medical professionals also participated in the briefing: Dr. John Barnard, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus; Dr. Patty Manning, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; and Dr. Adam Mezoff, Dayton Children’s Hospital. They discussed the prevalence of COVID-19 among children; how to prevent spread in schools by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping surfaces clean and ensuring good ventilation; and what schools can do if a student or staff member tests positive.

DeWine shared updated data on the percentage of cases in Ohio by age group. The data shows a significant increase in positive cases among younger adults over the summer, particularly in the age range of 20-29. 

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