COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that for the remainder of the school year, Ohio children would continue their schooling remotely.
“The virus continues. We flattened the curve, but the virus remains dangerous,” said DeWine. ‘“Second one of the things that has been expressed to me by teachers as well as superintendents is continuity.”
DeWine stated returning to school for the short remainder of the school year would not be a good idea, based on risk to students, teachers and the community. DeWine stated that while the fatality rate in children is low from Coronavirus, they are often carriers and can spread it between households and further in our communities.
“Those are the reasons that we have decided our young people K-12 will continue to go to school as they are remotely and will not return to physical buildings this school year,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated moving forward that no decision has yet been made about the fall on whether children will begin the school year as normal.
“We are simply not in a position yet to make that decision yet,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that schools were already beginning to prepare and thinking forward on how they would operate following social distancing. One option, according to DeWine, was the possibility of having blended learning, which would include some in-person learning, with at-home education. DeWine said these plans would differ from district to district and would allow for flexibility locally to determine what works best for each school, following a set of guidelines.
DeWine stated his concerns for the future include the safety of students, the safety of parents, the safety of teachers and the safety of families. DeWine stated that he worries particularly about the future for children with developmental needs, children with health challenges, children with limited access to the internet, and children without a supportive home life.
DeWine also shared his thoughts about how schools could host important ceremonies such as graduation.
“It’s not going to be easy, and it’s a real shame. I can’t express how sorry I am about that because I know how much all of these activities mean to young people, especially those in their senior years,” DeWine said. “We’re not telling schools how to do this, but the gathering of a significant number of ppl is dangerous. So just as schools have been innovative in how to teach from a distance, I know they will be innovative as they find a way to honor students.”
DeWine also stated he had not made any decision about open daycares throughout the state as well.
“We have not made a decision on daycares yet. For the same reason, we don’t want schools meeting in person – it’s the same concern for daycares,” DeWine said. “It’s a number of kids together who then go back home – it’s a perfect recipe for spread. We’re not ready yet to open up more daycares yet.”
DeWine stated that to maximize the availability of information, data on COVID-19 is updated daily and posted online.
“When I became Governor, one of my goals was to have more information available for decision-makers, legislators, executive branch. More information available to the public,” said DeWine.
He stated as Ohio Attorney General, he was frustrated with the limited access to information and said on these current times he the state must balance a right to information while maintaining patient privacy. DeWine stated information is shared daily on the state’s Coronavirus website for one’s own interpretation.
Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton stated Monday that there were 12,516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state with 12,653 hospitalizations. From the data, there have been 798 ICU admissions, with 509 deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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