COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A slightly upward trend in new COVID-19 cases continued for Ohio’s K-12 schools on Thursday as the Department of Health reported 1,428 new cumulative cases for the week ending this past Sunday.
1,428 is the second-most cases reported in the past seven weeks, but cases are still trending in a slightly upward direction like the trend statewide. The school year total now stands at 73,821.
1,621 cases were the most reported in the past seven weeks, after Ohio saw 3,058 on March 11. Since then, new cases seem to have settled into a rhythm below 1,700 per week.
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
1,563 (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 three more schools since last week.
49,584 (67%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 24,237 (33%) 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 1,253. Six Columbus area school districts are in the top nine.
Getting high schoolers vaccinated
In a move he hopes will encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that vaccinated people no longer have to quarantine after being exposed to a person with COVID-19.
One thing that has been “very tough” for high school students in athletics and other extra curriculars, DeWine said, “is that if they were exposed outside the classroom to someone, they had to quarantine.”
By changing Ohio’s health order, the governor said, “These young people who are vaccinated will be able to participate in sports, they will be able to participate in other activities even though they may at some point in the future be exposed to someone who has the COVID.”
DeWine said Tuesday that 21% of Ohioans aged 16-17 have gotten at least one shot of the Pfizer vaccine, the only one currently approved for people younger than 18.