COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are holding a briefing to discuss the latest efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the state.

As of Monday, there are 12,919 cases reported in Ohio, leading to 509 deaths. A total of 2,653 have been hospitalized, 798 in critical care.

Governor DeWine addressed the status of K-12 schools, After consulting with parents, educators and legislators, the governor announced children will remain at home with distance learning for the rest of the academic year.

DeWine said no decision has been made yet regarding the start of the next school year.

“We are simply not in a position yet to make that decision,” said DeWine.

The governor said schools are preparing for the fall and deciding how to handle things if they are back in the classroom. Some schools are considering the possibility of a blended system, where there is some distance learning and some in-person learning.

Governor DeWine says he is looking at data regarding coronavirus disproportionately impacting African Americans in Ohio. He says this is very concerning.

Governor DeWine says he has tried to be transparent with the release of coronavirus data while also balancing people having the right to privacy. He said they can not release data that is specific enough to lead to a person’s identity.

DeWine said inconsistent data was posted by the health department last week about coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities. That data has been removed and will be updated on Wednesday.

The state will also collect data on nursing homes that will break down the number of COVID-19 cases by residents and staff. Aggregate numbers will be reported to the public at the county level.

Over the weekend, the state revealed 1,828 inmates and 109 staff members at Marion Correctional tested positive for coronavirus. The prison recently implemented mass-testing.

“Because we are testing everyone – including those who are not showing symptoms – we are getting positive test results on individuals who otherwise would have never been tested because they were asymptomatic,” ODRC said in its daily release of information.

Pickaway Correctional and the Franklin Medical Center are also in the process of mass testing.

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