COVID-19 cases in Ohio schools rise this week but don’t buck longer downward trend

Coronavirus
Kettering Fairmont teachers vaccinations

Educational staff at Kettering City Schools sit in bleachers after receiving their Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohio’s Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio on February 10, 2021. (Photo by MEGAN JELINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – New coronavirus cases reported by Ohio schools rose this week but are still consistent with a downward trend since early January.

The Ohio Department of Health tallied 1,743 new cumulative cases of COVID-19 among K-12 students and staff members this week, bringing the school-year total to 62,727 dating back to mid-September.

Thursday’s data reflects the week ending Sunday, Feb. 28, and infections were caught in and out of school. The 1,743-case uptick this week is more than double last week’s 847, but it is still the second-smallest weekly increase since schools returned from winter break.

Cumulative COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio schools:

  • Sept. 17: 319
  • Sept. 24: 739 (+420)
  • Oct. 1: 1,274 (+535)
  • Oct. 8: 1,870 (+596)
  • Oct. 15: 2,739 (+869)
  • Oct. 22: 3,826 (+1,087)
  • Oct. 29: 5,058 (+1,232)
  • Nov. 5: 7,068 (+2,010)
  • Nov. 12: 9,876 (+2,808)
  • Nov. 19: 14,593 (+4,717)
  • Nov. 26: 19,302 (+4,709)
  • Dec. 3: 23,052 (+3,750)
  • Dec. 10: 28,218 (+5,166)
  • Dec. 17: 33,499 (+5,281)
  • Dec. 24: 36,547 (+3,048)
  • Dec. 31: Data largely discrepant, likely due to lack of reporting over holidays
  • Jan. 7: 37,681 (+1,134 over two weeks)
  • Jan. 14: 44,216 (+6,535)
  • Jan. 21: 48,009 (+3,793)
  • Jan. 28: 51,908 (+3,899)
  • Feb. 4: 55,264 (+3,356)
  • Feb. 11: 58,171 (+2,907)
  • Feb. 18: 60,107 (+1,936)
  • Feb. 25: 60,954 (+847)
  • March 4: 62,727 (+1,743)

Schools report cases among students and staff to ODH on Tuesdays, reflecting the week ending on the previous Sunday. ODH releases numbers on Thursdays at 2 p.m.


Case criteria

  • Full-time or part-time students and staff who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19. Infections were caught in and out of school.
  • Staff members include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff.
  • Excludes students/staff who are completely remote, but includes them if they were “on-site” while infectious.

  • ODH reports “new” and “cumulative” cases. Cases only move over to “cumulative” once the person is no longer COVID-positive. NBC4’s count of new cases every week reflects the change in “cumulative” cases. More info

    1,530 (55%) of 2,774 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that the state tracks have reported cases. That is just three more schools than last week.

    40,250 (64%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 22,477 (36%) are staff members, which include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff.

    Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, leads the state with 964 cases. Six Columbus area school districts are in the top 10.

    Just five of Ohio’s 609 public school districts are still learning fully remotely as of Wednesday, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

    They are Akron, Cleveland, Garfield Heights (outside Cleveland), Youngstown and Jefferson Township (outside Dayton). Only Jefferson Township plans to stay remote for the rest of the school year.

    Nearly seven in 10 districts are back to 5-day in-person learning a month after school employees first received coronavirus vaccinations.

    Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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