SCIOTO- Staff members in Scioto County schools will have to wait toward mid-February to receive the COVID vaccine, according to a schedule released from the Ohio Department of Health.
The ODH Friday release detailed when all Ohio K-12 schools can expect the arrival of the vaccine, where Gov. Mike DeWine’s goal is to have all schools in either a hybrid or full-time in-person learning model by March 1.
“Vaccine is incredibly scarce, and we simply don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone at the same time. Therefore, this will be a rolling process,” he said in a press release. “This rollout schedule is a heavy logistical lift that aims to ensure the maximum amount of people can be vaccinated in the shortest amount of time.”
Listed in Week Three are 16 school districts in Scioto County, which includes public, private, and career or technology institutes. Schools in nearby Pike and Jackson counties will also receive the vaccine that week.
Vaccinations will be carried out in schools in Ohio’s 88 counties throughout the course of four weeks in February. Starting on Feb. 15, the following county schools are scheduled to start the vaccine:
- New Boston
- Notre Dame
- Notre Dame Jr/Sr
- Portsmouth City
- Portsmouth Stem Academy
- Scioto County Career Technical Center
- South Central Ohio Educational Service Center
Employees at Portsmouth City Schools already began receiving vaccinations on Thursday, where 169 teachers, kitchen staff, aides, custodians, administrative staff, and secretaries registered that day with assistance from the city health and fire departments.
The first educators to receive the vaccine, PCS District Nurse Heather Walker told the Portsmouth Daily Times it was made possible because of the district’s smaller jurisdiction. PCHD Interim Administrator Belinda Leslie added that the decision would allow the department to accommodate for conducting second doses next week.
According to a press release from the Scioto County Joint Information Center, 96% of districts and schools in Ohio including those in Scioto County, have signaled their commitment to do so at least either full time or in a hybrid model.
SCOESC Superintendent Sandy Mers said 12 Scioto County schools have chosen Scioto Advantage as their approved provider, while Portsmouth City and Notre Dame Schools chose the Portsmouth City Health Department. Other providers approved for schools within the South-Central Ohio ESC service area include CVS, Walgreens and Fitzgerald’s Pharmacy.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to get our school personnel vaccinated and ask everyone to be patient as we wait for our turn. It is still very important that students and employees continue to wear masks and follow all the necessary precautions to keep the schools safe and to do their part to prevent illness in our districts,” said Mers, where between 60-70% of school personnel in the county have registered with the ESC to get vaccinated as soon as it is available.
As of Jan. 28, there have been 193 cumulative cases, 13 from last week alone, according to ODH. SCOESC has the most cases with 27, yet no students have been reported. In terms of both students and school cases, Washington-Nile schools lead the way with 29 students and 22 teachers.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.