**For more on COVID and Ohio schools, watch below.
OHIO (WJW) — Schools and local health departments in Ohio are no longer being asked to conduct universal contract tracing, which has become “impractical” in light of the quick spread of omicron.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff explained the changes in a memo sent to local health departments and school superintendents Wednesday.
“As COVID-19 has evolved, public health mitigation strategies have had to adjust periodically to address new challenges,” he said in the memo. “The quick spread of the Omicron variant and its rapid clinical course have made universal contact tracing, case investigation and exposure notification impractical when combined with newly reduced timelines for quarantine and isolation.”
Vanderhoff is expected to explain the changes in a press conference Thursday morning.
Vanderhoff said in the memo that local health departments should shift from universal contact tracing, case investigation and exposure notification to a cluster or outbreak-based model. Schools are still expected to assist local health departments under that new model.
Vanderhoff also said schools should continue to allow asymptomatic students to attend school while wearing a mask if they have been exposed to someone with COVID.
“The best place for kids is in school, in-person, full time,” he said.