COVID-19 & Ohio: K-12 Case Reporting, Sports Order Modification
August 27, 2020
Today, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted once again provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.
DeWine today released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that six counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. This is the lowest number of Level 3 counties since the Ohio Public Health Advisory System was developed. In addition, 76 counties have remained at a consistent level, which is the lowest movement between levels that Ohio has experienced.
"While we do have good news in today’s alert map, this does not give us the green light to change our behavior. It’s only through the interventions that we’ve put in place that we have been able to make these strides," said DeWine. "Please continue to wear a mask, stay home when you can and refrain from gatherings, especially indoors."
Detailed information all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will be issuing an order that requires K-12 schools to establish a mechanism for parents and guardians to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their children. Schools should notify parents/guardians in writing about each case and include as much information as possible without disclosing protected health information. Schools should also make non-identifying information about positive COVID-19 cases publicly available.
"Prompt reporting will help prevent potential further spread among students and staff," said the governor. "Knowing this information can help parents make informed decisions in regard to risks and exposure for their families."
The forthcoming order will also direct all K-12 schools to report confirmed cases to their local health department, which will then report new cases and cumulative case data for students and teachers to the Ohio Department of Health. This aggregate data will be published at coronavirus.ohio.gov each Wednesday.
Husted announced that the current sports order has been modified to clarify that participants shall not compete in more than one contest or game in any calendar day, as compared to the 24-hour period outlined in the original order. The goal of this adjustment in language is to assist organizers and teams when scheduling games or contests.
DeWine also announced that Ohio is pausing its work to test residents and staff at assisted living facilities through saliva testing instead of nasal swabs due to inconsistent test results. The ODH will investigate the issue through controlled validation testing to determine if the irregularities can be attributed to the test kits themselves, the labs, or the specimen collection process.
Husted also announced that the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) and InnovateOhio have identified an additional 38 duplicate payments, totaling $93,978 in savings, using the InnovateOhio Duplicate Payment Tool. In total, $1.1 million in savings have been identified since this project launched. Today’s update brings the total number of confirmed duplicate payments to 145 since January 2019, across 29 different agencies, boards, and commissions. OBM works with agencies to ensure that all duplicate payments are recovered.
Husted reminded employers about the TechCred program, which reimburses businesses to upskill their current and prospective employees. The current August round ends on August 31 at 3 p.m. Visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov for more information or to apply.