ODH will report school COVID cases

Staff Report

Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:

• Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday announced details for Ohio’s forthcoming case reporting order for K-12 schools.

Beginning Tuesday, parents or guardians and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive test or a clinical diagnosis. Within 24 hours after receiving that notification, the school should notify other parents and guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. The school must also notify their local health department within 24 hours.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15, and each Tuesday thereafter, local health departments will report the number of newly reported and cumulative cases to the Ohio Department of Health. The Ohio Department of Health will publish this data by school or school district, including a breakdown by students and staff, each Thursday.

“We understand there is a balance between privacy and transparency, and we do not intend for protected health information to be released in our effort to provide information to Ohioans so they can make the right decisions for their family,” said DeWine. “Please remember that if a school has positive cases among their students or staff, it does not mean the school did anything wrong. Schools cannot control spread in the community, so it is important to practice safety measures not only in the classroom but also when you’re out in the community.”

The order will also require each school district or school to identify a COVID-19 coordinator to facilitate the reporting of case information, and upon request, schools or buildings are required to provide the local health department a copy of their pandemic plan.

• Fulton County dropped to Level 1 in the Ohio Public Health Advisory update on Thursday.

The county met just one of the seven indicators. The indicator met was the proportion of cases not in congregate settings.

Lucas County remained at Red Alert Level 3 with the Thursday update. The county met two indicators, which would normally mean Level 2, but it stays at Level 3 until it drops below the high incidence threshold of over 100 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period.

Lucas County had 112.29 cases per 100,000 people from Aug. 19 to Sept. 1. The highest was Putnam County, with 268.7.

Fulton County had 42.7 cases per 100,000 people during that time frame.

Henry, Williams, and Defiance counties were also Level 1, while Wood County was Level 2.

• COVID-19 cases in Fulton County increased from 181 on Aug. 30 to 193 on Thursday, according to the Fulton County Health Department. Due to the early Labor Day holiday deadline, Thursday is the most recent data available.

There were three new hospitalizations, bringing the total to 17.

Among the cases through Thursday, there were 107 females and 86 males.

Lucas County has had 6,478 cases and 343 deaths, as of Thursday.

• The number of states in Ohio’s travel advisory increased by two with the most recent update.

Those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and ODH is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity. If someone must travel, ODH is recommending 14 days of self-quarantine after leaving those locations. This advisory is intended for both leisure and business travel, and should be heeded by both Ohioans and out-of-state travelers, according to officials.

The updated list on Sept. 2 includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, and Alabama.

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Staff Report