COLUMBUS — Ohio’s schools now have some recommended guidelines for the beginning of the next school year.
Gov. Mike DeWine said at his Thursday update and via Twitter, “Working with educators and health officials, we’ve created K-12 school guidelines – backed by science – for schools to follow when developing their reopening plans. Schools can adjust their rules to what works best for them for a safe environment and that protects students/staff.”
He said that while teachers and students did outstanding with distance learning, “the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends students be physically present in school as much as possible. To keep schools open, our guidelines are designed to create the safest environment possible for our students and staff.”
DeWine said, “Because of the importance of face masks in slowing the spread of COVID-19, schools must establish a face mask policy. In doing so, they should consider all the available science.
“It is also the state’s strong recommendation that students third grade and up wear face masks,” he said. “When face coverings aren’t practical, face shields may be considered. For example, wearing a face mask could make communication more difficult when teachers are interacting with students with disabilities or students who are learning a foreign language.
“Remember, we wear masks to protect each other, often because people are sick, but show no symptoms. Masks can be especially useful and are strongly recommended at any grade level during periods of increased risk and when physical distancing is difficult.
DeWine said, “To assist schools in their efforts to implement our five guidelines, the Ohio Department of Education has created ‘The Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts’ to help schools with solutions to the many challenges they face.”
The governor added, “To reopen school safely, there will be unforeseen expenses schools will face. I’ll work with the Ohio General Assembly to ensure federal CARES Act dollars are available to #Ohio school districts to help with these costs.”
For specific details, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov .
Scioto County officials reported that, as of Thursday, the county has had a total of 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with an age range of 16-81. No one is currently hospitalized, and 25 are listed as recovered.
Over the past two weeks through Wednesday, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Ohio has increased by 402, an increase of nearly 99%, according to an Associated Press analysis. Ohio reported 1,175 cases April 29, when mass testing of prisons was still going on.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has warned of spikes in two southwestern Ohio counties, Hamilton and Montgomery.
Wednesday evening, the five-member Dayton City Commission approved a new city law requiring mask wearing in all public places in Dayton, including inside city businesses, and outside when social distancing isn’t possible. The ordinance takes effect Friday and carries an $85 fine.
DeWine, a Republican, announced support for the move and urged other communities to do the same. DeWine has strongly recommended mask wearing statewide but has yet to mandate it universally. Mask wearing is currently required for Ohio employees but optional for customers.
“Wearing a mask will allow us to help keep businesses open and help prevent further spikes,” the governor said.
Also Wednesday, Ohio State University said students, faculty, staff and others will be required to wear masks indoors on campus this fall and sign a pledge “to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the (corona)virus and their intention to do their part,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.