k-12 schools

More than two dozen parents, mostly in Northwest Ohio, are suing the state over the mandate that K-12 students be required to wear masks. 

The annual state report cards on Ohio’s school districts and buildings are out – and they’re missing a few key elements this time. 

As many Ohio kids go back to in-person classes, Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s important for Ohio’s students, parents and communities know about coronavirus spread. So, he’s signed an order to require better reporting in schools starting next Tuesday. 

Medina County health officials are investigating three COVID-19 cases reported in two school districts.

Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus since schools reopened, said the county’s health commissioner Krista Wasowski.

The county is seeing its highest number of new cases since the pandemic began, with more than 100 new cases reported over the past week, she said. Nearly one-quarter of the cases are in people under the age of 19.

The USDA has extended the summer food service program to allow schools that have been providing meals to low-income kids through the summer to continue to do so through the end of the calendar year. But not all kids getting school meals will benefit.

Gov. Mike DeWine has said the state will soon require schools to regularly report positive COVID-19 cases to the public.

But the move has local infectious disease experts concerned about patient privacy.

Drs. Amy Ray at MetroHealth and Joan Zoltanski at University Hospitals agree that schools should be transparent about numbers of new cases in order to keep the public informed – but should take care not to give any information that could identify individuals.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that schools will be required to notify parents and local health departments of any COVID-19 cases among students or staff.

Most administrators across the state find the order to be “reasonable,” Kevin Miller, director of government relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, told ideastream Friday.

The state is requiring every school district in Ohio to come up with a reporting system to notify the community and health officials about COVID-19 cases in the classroom. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says this is another resource to help school stay open for in-person learning.

There is a connection between lower COVID-19 cases and fewer deaths and closed schools, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Katherine Auger of Cincinnati Children's Hospital says states that closed schools early in the pandemic saw fewer new cases and fewer deaths than states that closed later.

The state’s largest teachers’ union says schools in areas where coronavirus poses a threat should plan to start online this fall. 

screenshot of Coronavirus alert map

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