Ohio schools top 23,000 coronavirus cases this school year as week-to-week increases trend downward

State News

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 24: A teacher wears a mask and teaches remotely from her classroom on September 24, 2020 in New York City. New York City, the nation’s largest school district opened its classrooms to remote teaching this week and plans to open in-person blended teaching and learning next week. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – 23,052 students and staff members in Ohio schools have tested positive for the coronavirus this school year, according to the latest weekly numbers published Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health.

Thursday’s week-to-week increase in cases was 3,750, the lowest since Nov. 12. This week is the second straight week that the increase in school cases was lower than the previous week. That could be, however, because of decreased COVID-19 testing statewide in the days after Thanksgiving.

Cumulative COVID-19 cases reported by Ohio schools:

  • Sept. 17: 319
  • Sept. 24: 739 (+420)
  • Oct. 1: 1,274 (+535)
  • Oct. 8: 1,870 (+596)
  • Oct. 15: 2,739 (+869)
  • Oct. 22: 3,826 (+1,087)
  • Oct. 29: 5,058 (+1,232)
  • Nov. 5: 7,068 (+2,010)
  • Nov. 12: 9,876 (+2,808)
  • Nov. 19: 14,593 (+4,717)
  • Nov. 26: 19,302 (+4,709)
  • Dec. 3: 23,052 (+3,750)

14,036 (61%) of Ohio’s school cases are students and 9,016 (39%) are staff members, which include teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff. (See more information on the data in the dropdown below).

Schools report cases among students and staff to ODH on Tuesdays, and ODH releases numbers on Thursdays at 2 p.m. However, the numbers a school reports to ODH may not be as recent as Tuesday.

Case criteria

  • Full-time or part-time students and staff members who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Staff includes 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. This means the number of “new” cases each week is not guaranteed to be the weekly difference between “cumulative” totals. More info

    1,346 Ohio schools have reported at least one coronavirus case this school year, an increase of 45 since last week. That is more than 48% of the 2,773 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, preschools and other non-college institutions the state tracks.

    The state’s leader in cumulative cases continues to be Cincinnati Public Schools (419), a district of more than 36,000 students.

    Also in the top 10 are Columbus area school districts Dublin City Schools (2nd; 339), Olentangy Local Schools (4th; 287), Hilliard City Schools (5th; 261), South-Western City Schools (6th; 247) and Westerville City Schools (9th; 178).

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