COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – New cases of coronavirus in Ohio’s K-12 schools this week continued a fairly consistent trend dating back a month as schools reported 1,279 new cases for the week ending Sunday, May 9.
1,279 is the lowest number of new cumulative cases published by the Ohio Department of Health since April 8’s 797. The next week, April 15, Ohio schools reported 1,621 new cases, and no week since has topped that.
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.
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
The school year total now stands at 76,675 cases among students and staff members. Infections were caught in and out of school.
1,579 (57%) of 2,774 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that the state tracks have reported cases. That is six more schools since last week.
51,926 (68%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 24,749 (32%) 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 1,372. Six Columbus area school districts are in the top nine.
Lottery: get vaccinated, win a scholarship
Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced a unique plan to get more Ohioans, including students, vaccinated for COVID-19.
Starting Wednesday, May 26, and lasting for five weeks, the state will hold two weekly lotteries. One lottery will see five adults with at least their first shots win $1 million, and the other drawing will award a full state college scholarship to five vaccinated Ohioans under 18.
The federal government this week approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people as young as 12, and vaccinations of this population in Ohio began Thursday. Scholarship drawings will be open for Ohioans 12-17 with at least one shot of the vaccine.
“For those parents and children who are interested, there are hundreds of locations where those 12, 13, 14 and 15 can today – right today – be vaccinated in the state of Ohio,” DeWine said Thursday at his coronavirus briefing.
The governor was joined by a Nationwide Children’s Hospital doctor who dispelled the myth that children are immune to COVID-19.
“While they have less frequent severe symptoms from it, some children will develop very severe symptoms,” said Dr. Dane Snyder, NCH’s section chief of primary care pediatrics.
106,664 Ohioans under 18 have tested positive for COVID-19, 1,097 have been hospitalized and seven have died, according to ODH.
An online portal will open on Monday for vaccinated young people to register for the scholarship drawings.
The governor said Thursday that the $1 million drawings were “his decision” (although he did not say if they were his idea), and the idea for scholarship drawings came from one of his staff members.