CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW)– The Cuyahoga County Board of Health released updated guidance for the safe reopening of schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Health officials said new evidence from around the world as communities send children back to school shows older students have a greater likelihood of getting Covid-19 and spreading it.
Officials say if the county is at the orange level based on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, a hybrid model of learning with some students coming to back in-person classes and other staying home can be safely considered.
The county previously recommended all schools begin the year 100% online, which led several large districts to change plans and move to remote classes.
Schools should conduct in-person classes carefully follow rules such as keeping students in small groups with alternating schedules. Groups of students and their teachers should not mix with other students and teachers. Students and teachers should not share any classroom items. Masks, social distancing and hand washing should be required and frequently touched surfaces should be aggressively disinfected.
Extracurricular activities such as sports and band can resume as well, under strict guidelines. The Board of Health says all spectators and participants, when possible, should wear masks and remain socially distant.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health says it is still unclear what circumstances will allow schools to safely go back to a pre-Covid19 normal, but having no more than 10 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period will likely be one of the many criteria.
Health officials refused to comment on the new guidelines, but plan to give a press conference Friday afternoon.
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