Franklin Co. health department issues statement on opening schools


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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The director of Franklin County Public Health has issued a statement clarifying the department’s stance on schools returning to the classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola issued the statement Monday, saying the board recommended, not required, that all schools start the school year using a virtual/online learning model.

“When circumstances dictate, the Franklin County Board of Health has legal authority in the form of
a board order to immediately compel action either by an individual or an operator to protect the
public’s health,” Mazzola wrote in the statement. “Other times, it’s more appropriate for our office to issue guidance or recommendations for individuals or organizations to consider for the same purposes. The intent of our memo regarding school openings is an example of the latter.”

Mazzola added it is up to the individual school’s governing body what type of plan to use.

The memo also said Franklin County Public Health would offer districts special guidance on the following area:

  • Special education, intervention, and social/emotional learning needs
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Classroom teaching
  • Return to school plans

The full statement from Franklin County Public Health is below. App users, tap here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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