COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided several updates Wednesday on COVID-19 in Ohio, including extending the statewide curfew through Jan. 23 and issuing new guidelines for quarantining students.
As of Dec. 30, a total of 690,740 (+8,178) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 8,855 (+133) deaths and 38,002 (+366) hospitalizations.
DeWine said that case numbers over the past week have been skewed by the Christmas holiday but that they are returning to what has been the norm.
The curfew, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., had been set to expire on Saturday.
DeWine continued to push for ways to reopen schools to complete in-person instruction. He has included school-building personnel in the next wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, expected to begin in January.
Now he is permitting schools to not have students quarantine if they were in close contact with another student who tested positive for COVID-19. DeWine said the state is breaking away from CDC guidelines based on research the state conducted that shows such students are not at a higher risk of getting sick as long as they were wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
Schools have been using a mix of instruction models during the pandemic, including fully remote and hybrid models, as they have had to adapt to illnesses among staff members. Last week, DeWine said his goal is for schools to be able to reopen to complete in-person instruction by March 1.