OHA pleads with schools to implement masks


By Adam Black - ablack@aimmediamidwest.com



As the second half of the school year kicks off, the Ohio Hospital Association, which consists of more than 245 hospitals across the state, is urging school leaders to implement a mask policy in their districts. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the association sent out a letter to school leaders due to the record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases within the state.

As the second half of the school year kicks off, the Ohio Hospital Association, which consists of more than 245 hospitals across the state, is urging school leaders to implement a mask policy in their districts. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the association sent out a letter to school leaders due to the record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases within the state.


COLUMBUS — As students return to the classroom, the Ohio Hospital Association urges schools to require masks.

As the second half of the school year kicks off, the Ohio Hospital Association, which consists of more than 245 hospitals across the state, is urging school leaders to implement a mask policy in their districts. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the association sent out a letter to school leaders due to the record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases within the state.

“As we have learned during the past two years, things shift quickly with COVID-19. Today, we are faced with a new variant, Omicron, which is more contagious than previous variants,” the letter stated. “This variant is spreading rapidly through Ohio and is expected to become the dominant variant within the coming weeks.”

It was recently announced that Cleveland Metropolitan School District decided to go remote after the New Year holiday and remain remote until cases go down. Schools in Scioto County have begun again in person, and the association hopes all schools will put a mask policy in place.

“To those who do not currently have a mask requirement, we respectfully ask that you consider one as your students return after holiday break,” the association said. “Health experts around Ohio have recommended Ohio schools have masking policies until more students get vaccinated, and that remains their recommendation as students return to school next week. This is even more urgent now because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.”

The letter to school leaders stated the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread when a person coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings and that masks work and are effective at slowing the spread of the virus.

“The best way to keep kids in school is to slow the spread of the virus. The best ways to slow the spread of the virus are to get vaccinated and wear a mask,” OHA stated in the letter.

The plea comes as nearly every hospital in the state reports high-capacity levels, with many being COVID-19 patients. During a news conference last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine shared that he had no plans to place a statewide mask mandate but encouraged school districts to bring masks requirements back.

“I would urge everyone to think about kids going back to school on Monday, parents, have your child wear a mask. I know that people don’t want to do that, but that is the safest thing,” DeWine said. “For school superintendents and school boards, school administrators, please consider putting the mask mandate on if you don’t already have it on. At least for a few weeks while we are at this great, great, great surge.”

Many schools in Scioto County have mask policies in place but only apply to students when a certain number of students test positive for COVID-19. Once a school reaches the number of students testing positive, masks are required for two weeks or until the school reevaluates COVID-19 numbers.

On Monday, Jan. 3, Portsmouth City Schools announced that when students returned to school Jan. 5, masks would be required until Jan. 7 during school hours and strongly recommended at district events.

“Out of an abundance of caution coming back after our lengthy break, Portsmouth City Schools will require masks when students return to school on Wednesday, January 5. The mask mandate will be in effect through Friday, January 7 during school hours. Masks are strongly recommended at all other district events,” the district posted on social media.

Portsmouth City Schools stated they will provide an update for if students will need to continue wearing masks for the week of January 10 as positive cases throughout the district become known.

“The best protection against developing severe illness from COVID-19, for both school-aged children and adults, remains getting vaccinated,” OHA stated. “While younger, school-aged Ohioans continue to get vaccinated, it is critical that we keep following protocols to protect students, teachers, staff and their families at home.”

As the second half of the school year kicks off, the Ohio Hospital Association, which consists of more than 245 hospitals across the state, is urging school leaders to implement a mask policy in their districts. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the association sent out a letter to school leaders due to the record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases within the state.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_N2107P21008C-2.jpgAs the second half of the school year kicks off, the Ohio Hospital Association, which consists of more than 245 hospitals across the state, is urging school leaders to implement a mask policy in their districts. On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the association sent out a letter to school leaders due to the record-breaking rise in COVID-19 cases within the state.

By Adam Black

ablack@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at ablack@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at ablack@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved