COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – While COVID-19 infections in Ohio continue to rise as the delta variant wave worsens, new cases reported by schools dropped last week around Thanksgiving break.

K-12 schools reported 5,134 new coronavirus cases among students and staff members to the Ohio Department of Health as of Sunday, bringing the school-year total to 97,905.

Weekly cases had been increasing for four weeks until dipping slightly in the previous reporting week. Then, this past week, new cases dropped by more than 1,500 as schools closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Weekly COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio schools:

  • Sept. 17:  +10,682
  • Sept. 24:  +9,827
  • Oct. 1:  +7,564
  • Oct. 7:  +7,405
  • Oct. 14:  +6,289
  • Oct. 21:  +5,116
  • Oct. 28:  +4,660
  • Nov. 4:  +4,696
  • Nov. 11:  +5,348
  • Nov. 18:  +6,781
  • Nov. 24:  +6,668
  • Dec. 2:  +5,134

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

    1,508 (54%) of the 2,767 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that ODH tracks have reported a case this school year.

    The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 20 cases, while the median number for school districts is 104 cases.

    82,910 (85%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 14,995 (15%) are staff members, which include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff. Last school year, students were roughly 2 in 3 cases, and staff were 1 in 3.

    Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, leads the state with 2,188 cases, ahead of Columbus City Schools at 1,332 cases. Columbus is among five Franklin County districts in the top 10.