Ohio to offer financial help to colleges, schools for coronavirus expenses; state releases college campus reopening guidelines

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — The state of Ohio has released guidelines for higher education institutions to utilize when reopening their campuses for the upcoming fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Higher Education worked with Ohio’s colleges and universities, as well as the state health department, to develop these guidelines.

The guidance includes minimum operating standards that should occur on all campuses, as well as best practices to further enhance those standards.

“Each campus must develop policies and procedures for COVID-19 testing and isolation of symptomatic students, faculty, and staff member,” DeWine said during his Thursday afternoon press conference. “Testing of symptomatic individuals should take priority over all other testing tactics.”

DeWine also said he spoke with the General Assembly and is requesting that the Controlling Board approve the state’s initial request on Monday to allocate $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K-12 educational institutions.

“We intend to make this funding available to all public and private K-12 schools and to all of our 2- and 4-year colleges and universities, both public and private, including adult career tech providers,” said DeWine.

The funding would come from the federal CARES Act. DeWine says schools would be able to use the money to meet their unique needs.

“We intend for this funding to be very flexible to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he explained.

The state’s request to the Controlling Board is in addition to the more than $440 million in direct federal CARES Act funding that Ohio’s K-12 schools are receiving. The state’s colleges and universities also received more than $190 million of direct federal funding.

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