Schools must report positive COVID-19 cases to their local health department within 48 hours, according to a new order Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is issuing.
DeWine announced Thursday that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing an order that requires K-12 schools to establish a mechanism for parents and guardians to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their children.
“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. So, this is just a way to let people know,” DeWine said. “But it does not mean at all that the school has done anything wrong. You know, in the conversations I’ve had with superintendents and all the information I can gather, it looks like to me schools are doing the best job they can.”
Schools should notify parents/guardians in writing about each case and include as much information as possible without disclosing protected health information. Schools should also make non-identifying information about positive COVID-19 cases publicly available.
“Prompt reporting will help prevent potential further spread among students and staff,” DeWine said. “Knowing this information can help parents make informed decisions in regard to risks and exposure for their families.”
The forthcoming order will also direct all K-12 schools to report confirmed cases to their local health department, which will then report new cases and cumulative case data for students and teachers to the Ohio Department of Health.
This aggregate data will be published at coronavirus.ohio.gov each Wednesday.