Kids and COVID-19: What Ohio doctors are saying about spread, school safety

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COLUMBUS (WJW) — The upcoming school year is going to look very different in Ohio no matter if students are learning online or in person. At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine spoke with doctors about the ways coronavirus affects children, including in the classroom.

First, DeWine said he’s confident teachers and school districts are going to do a good job come fall in doing what is best for their students.

“My plea to everyone today is that 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.,” he said. “Wear masks, social distance, avoid large gatherings.”

Dr. John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus said that 17 year olds seem to be coming down with coronavirus at a higher rate than other kids, as seen in the video above. Older teens, who can drive, are more likely to meet up with friends, which could be a contributing factor to this statistic, he said.

Dr. Patty Manning of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center also told DeWine that younger kids, who need more hands-on care, and teens are at greater risk for spreading and contracting the disease.

Of all the Ohio school districts that have decided how school will begin, only about 25 percent have opted to start fully remote and about 38 percent are returning to the classroom full-time, DeWine said. About 24 percent of districts have decided on a hybrid learning model.

Manning said that the following could help slow the spread of coronavirus for students and teachers who are back in the classroom:

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