Gov. DeWine, doctors offer guidelines on how to return to school safely

Gov. DeWine speaks about the return to schools

COLUMBUS (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and doctors from area hospitals offered guidelines on how students will be able to return to schools safely.

“I think our schools are doing a very good job getting ready for in-person or virtual schooling - or both. I have every confidence that they will do everything they can to keep Ohio’s children safe - but whatever is going on in their communities will be reflected in the schools,” DeWine said.

  • 325 public schools (approximately 590,000) are planning to return to school full-time.
  • 55 districts or about 25.6 percent (approximately 398,000 students) of our public school students that will be fully remote or online.
  • 154 districts or 24.5 percent (approximately 380,000 students) will be doing some form of hybrid schooling.
  • There are 78 districts for which we don’t have information readily available.
Ohio releases stats on back-to-school plans

Dr. Patty Manning, chief of staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital discussed the COVID-19 spread involving children.

“Younger children who need closer-contact care may be more likely to spread coronavirus. The older children, especially teens, are a great risk for spread b/c they are very active and have contact with each other,” she said.

For schools to remain safe she recommends:

  • Wear masks
  • Practice social distancing
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Keep surfaces clean

“Ventilation is also very important. Teachers should try to open windows or teach outside if possible,” Manning said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 102,826 cases and 3,708 deaths. 79,321 have presumably recovered.

DeWine says Ohio is seeing a bit of a downturn in cases; 1,095 in the last 24 hours.

He said that the number of positive cases are increasing in our younger age groups.

“17-year-olds seem to be contracting coronavirus at higher rates than their younger peers. This could be because they are more likely to socialize with more people,” Dr. John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital said.

DeWine said he’s not ready to make a final decision on sports and extracurricular activities but is leaning toward allowing schools and parents to make the decision.

“My plea to everyone today is that 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. Wear masks, social distance, avoid large gatherings,” he said.

This comes just after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Monday he is recommending schools statewide begin the upcoming academic year with remote learning.

Beshear is calling for all schools to hold off sending children to the classroom until at least Sept. 28.

School districts nationwide are deciding between in-person or remote learning as the fall semester approaches.

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