Ohio Gov. DeWine announces order requiring schools to report coronavirus cases

Coronavirus
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new health order on Thursday requiring schools to report coronavirus cases in students and staff.

DeWine said K-12 schools must report to the local health department as quickly as possible after learning of a positive case of COVID-19. The schools should make the information publicly available, and notify parents and guardians in writing, without disclosing protected health information.

“We just feel the more information that is available out there, the better,” the governor said during his news conference.

Local health departments will alert the Ohio Department of Health on a weekly bases about new cases in schools. The data will be posted every Wednesday on the state health department’s website.

“Let me maybe just state the obvious, if a community has widespread or has spread, which every community has some spread of the COVID, that will be reflected in the schools,” DeWine said. “So the fact that a school has reports that there is COVID in the school or a student or a faculty member or someone who works there, the fact that that gets reported should not necessarily cause any great alarm. Again, the schools are going to reflect what is in the community.”

The governor expressed confidence in local school districts to enforce social distancing and cleaning protocols, saying just because a school has a case of coronavirus doesn’t mean staff is doing something wrong.

“The real key, which we’ve known all along, is how we handle it. How the school handles it, how the local health department handles it, how the parents handle it. It’s really a team effort,” DeWine said.

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