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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – The Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) is recommending that schools begin the 2020-2021 school year remotely.

They say it is in the best interest of the safety of the students, staff, family members, and community due to the spread of coronavirus.

CCBH also recommends during the remote learning period, schools should not have any extracurricular activities, including sports.

The information is a recommendation for all students K-12 in districts within Cuyahoga County.

CCBH acknowledges remote learning presents additional challenges for districts that serve low-income communities of color.

“We are equally concerned about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these same school districts, as our current data indicate that African-Americans are three times more likely to be positive for COVID-19,” CCBH stated in a press release.

CCBH said the recommendation is based on the following areas:

  • Average number of daily cases – this number more than tripled between mid-June and mid-July
  • Community capacity to test children – this is currently very limited
  • Hospital activity – they continue to experience increasing levels of outpatient visits and
  • Hospitalizations, including intensive care admissions, related to COVID-19
  • Non-congregate settings – a high percentage of recent cases have occurred in non-congregate settings
  • Number of cases – local activity has been identified as being in the “high incidence” category by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Ohio Public Health Advisory System – we are currently rated as Level 3/Red
  • Only Level 4/Purple is higher in terms of risk for transmission of COVID-19
  • Positivity rates as shown by testing – these have been climbing over the last month
  • School-related settings – we have investigated multiple reports of clusters of cases in sports and other “return to play” activities

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is holding a briefing at 2:30 p.m. Friday.