COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As the Delta variant wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues its downward trend in Ohio, cases in schools continue to follow a similar trajectory.

K-12 schools reported 4,660 new coronavirus cases among students and staff members to the Ohio Department of Health as of Sunday, bringing the school-year total to 69,278.

The cases published Thursday mark the seventh consecutive week that new infections have dropped since NBC4 began tracking in mid-September.

Weekly COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio’s K-12 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

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

    Just over half of the 2,768 schools that ODH tracks have reported at least one case this school year. 1,441 (52%) of schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college have reported a case. That’s 21 more schools than last week.

    The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 15 cases, while the median number for school districts is 68 cases.

    58,906 (85%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 10,372 (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 in cases with 1,726, ahead of Columbus City Schools at 965. Columbus is among five Franklin County districts in the top nine.