COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – For the second time in four weeks, the weekly increase of COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio’s K-12 schools was below 1,000.

This week’s increase of 845 ekes out Feb. 25’s 847 as the state’s record low. The total cumulative cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health among students and staff members this academic year now stands at 66,630.

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

    Cases had been ticking up the past couple of weeks after reaching the then-record low of 847 in late February. They increased by more than 3,000 last week, but this week’s small increase brings that trend down.

    Every public school district that signed on to Gov. Mike DeWine's agreement of vaccinating staff to get students out of remote learning have at least partly returned to classrooms this week, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

    The only school to not take that deal, Jefferson Township Public Schools west of Dayton, is the lone remaining school with all of its instruction online. Nearly 3 in 4 districts are learning in person five days a week.

    1,541 (56%) of 2,774 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that the state tracks have reported cases. That is five more schools than last week.

    43,078 (65%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 23,552 (35%) are staff members, which include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff.

    Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, continues to lead the state in cases with 1,041. This week, Cincinnati became the first to exceed 1,000. Six Columbus area school districts are in the top 10, including five in the top seven.

    Ohio school districts have begun to receive 30,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits that Gov. DeWine announced last week, reports NBC4’s Cynthia Rosi.

    Most kits will be distributed by education service centers in the coming weeks. Students tested will get results from their school nurse’s office.