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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Hundreds of thousands of Ohio educators say they are concerned about returning to in-person classes this fall.

Tuesday, the Ohio Education Association called on the state to require full remote learning in ‘red’ and ‘purple’ counties under the Public Health Advisory Alert System.

“Sixty-nine percent of our educators say they don’t feel it is safe to go back where they are,” said OEA president Scott DiMauro.

In addition to requiring remote learning in higher level counties, the OEA also outlined a list of measures they would like to become state requirements.

They include mandatory masks for students, staff, and visitors, and daily health checks, along with others.

 “All of us would love nothing more than to be with our students.  We went into this profession because we care about kids.  We miss them and want to be with them, but we want to make sure schools are open safely,” said DiMauro.

 “I don’t think any of us, frankly, have enough information at this point to know which one of those decisions is the right decision or the wrong decision,” replied Gov. Mike DeWine when asked about the OEA’s position at his press conference Tuesday.

 DeWine added it was intentionally left to the districts to make these tough decisions.

 “We don’t want to see this virus take off and see the loss of educator’s lives or the loss of student’s lives because we didn’t do what we could have done to keep everybody safe,” said DiMauro.

 The OEA is also calling for state and federal funding for costs associated with schools reopening.

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