COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health loosened quarantine requirements for spring sports and extracurricular activities in the state’s schools Monday.
The amendment to the health order states that students will not be required to quarantine due to an incidental COVID-19 exposure in a classroom setting under school-based guidelines unless symptoms develop.
“The good news is spring sports are basically outside and that makes things better,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.
The governor defined incidental exposure as a student in a classroom where everyone is wearing a mask and social distancing who then becomes exposed to the virus. The initial order said that while those students would not have to quarantine from the classroom, they were required to quarantine from sports and extracurricular activities. The new order amendment, signed Monday, lifts that requirement.
The amendment clarifies that those students must not show signs of coronavirus infection in order to participate.
Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said last week that the outdoor nature of spring sports and the ability of schools to increase ventilation by opening doors to gyms and the like reduces the risk of spreading the virus. He went on to cite a number of studies that show COVID-19 spread remains low among schools.
“This allows us to be confident that a student who is not currently required to quarantine for school-based exposure is at very low risk and can continue to participate in organized sports activities as long as they remain symptom free and follow all the applicable sports guidance,” Vanderhoff said.