COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio’s K-12 schools reported their highest week-to-week increase of COVID-19 cases in more than a month on Thursday, notching 1,621 new cumulative cases in the week ending Sunday, April 11.

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

    Thursday’s new cases, published by the Ohio Department of Health, bring Ohio’s total this school year to 71,051. Cases have increased every week since March 18 except for one, generally following the slight upward trend of cases throughout the state since mid-March.

    1,556 (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 two more schools since last week.

    47,054 (66%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 23,997 (34%) 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 1,143. Six Columbus area school districts are in the top 10.

    Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday continued to encourage older high school students to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is approved for people 16 and up.

    “If your child is 16 or over, time to get the child vaccinated,” he said during his statewide briefing, “It's really time to do it.”

    DeWine added that getting vaccinated is also a way for high school athletes to have a full spring season.

    Some high schools across the state have been working with their local health departments to set up vaccine clinics. Canal Winchester High School, for example, will hold a clinic on April 23. Anyone 16 and up can also get vaccinated anywhere the Pfizer vaccine is available.

    519 (85%) of Ohio’s public school districts are back to learning in person five days a week, while 89 (15%) are in a hybrid model, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Jefferson Township Local Schools, outside Dayton, is the lone district learning fully remotely, which it plans to do for the remainder of the school year.

    Franklin County on Thursday moved into the state’s highest coronavirus advisory level – purple – in part because hospitalizations are stressing the county’s medical systems. Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts told reporters on Thursday that the purple advisory level does not mean Franklin County schools should return to remote learning.