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Gov. DeWine stresses importance of masks, social distancing as start of school year approaches Staff




During his Tuesday press briefing on COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine continued to stress the importance of masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene as Ohio’s school students approach the start of the upcoming school year.

“I have every confidence that Ohio’s schools will do everything they can to keep children safe, but any spread happening in the broader community will, without a doubt, be reflected in Ohio’s classrooms,” DeWine said. “If we want our kids to go to school in person, to play sports, to be in extracurricular activities – it’s up to all of us to cut down the spread in our communities.”

Currently, Ohio has left the decision to individual school districts on how to approach the new school year.

This map from the Ohio Department of Education, updated through Aug. 6, shows the decisions by school districts on what to do this fall.

According to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education, 325 public school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time which equates to approximately 590,000 students.

A total of 55 districts representing approximately 398,000 public school students will begin the school year remotely.

Approximately 380,000 students in 154 public school districts will start the school year with a hybrid of online and in-person learning.

Information on 78 public school districts was not readily available.

Also participating in today’s briefing were Dr. John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Dr. Patty Manning from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Adam Mezoff from Dayton Children’s Hospital.

These experts discussed the prevalence of COVID-19 among children; how to prevent spread in schools by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping surfaces clean, and ensuring good ventilation; and what schools can do if a student or staff member tests positive.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 102,826 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,708 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 11,760 people have been hospitalized, including 2,699 admissions to intensive care units.

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