COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – New coronavirus cases reported by Ohio schools fell for the fourth week in a row on Thursday as K-12 schools recorded their lowest week of cases since classes began last fall.

Schools reported 3,460 new cases to the Ohio Department of Health on Thursday for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 13. That’s the fewest since NBC4 began tracking in mid-September last year.

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

    Like cases overall in Ohio, school infections have dropped dramatically since the omicron variant wave peaked in early January. In the past month, new school cases have fallen 88% from a pandemic-high 27,774.

    The school year total stands at 239,934 cases among students and staff. Infections were caught in and out of school.

    1,609 (58%) of the 2,769 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions that ODH tracks have reported a case this school year. That’s one more school than last week.

    The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 43 cases, while the median number for school districts is 202 cases.

    197,578 (82%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 42,356 (18%) 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 with 5,509 cases, ahead of Dublin City Schools with 3,795. Dublin is among five central Ohio districts in the top 10.

    All but one Ohio public school district is back to fully in-person learning, according to data last week tracked by the Ohio Department of Education. One district is in a hybrid model.

    A majority of public school students, 53.3% according to ODE, learn where masks are optional for all students. The other 46.7% of students go to school where masks are required for all or some students.