Fulton County students among just 29% with full in-person learning

Staff Report

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

• Fulton County students are among just 29.1% in the state that remain with in-person learning five days per week, according to information shared by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Monday. When combined with the 25.1% of students participating in partial in-person learning, a majority of Ohio students have some type of in-person learning ongoing as of Dec. 3.

In the state, 44.7% of students are fully remote, as many large districts have taken learning online.

Although a plurality of Ohio students are remote, 40.2% of school districts in the state have full in-person learning. Another 29.1% of district have partial in-person learning.

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote. Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning,” DeWine said.

The Ohio Department of Education continues to report limited spread of COVID-19 in a classroom setting, but an increase of community spread from informal gatherings outside of school.

• Total cases of COVID-19 in Fulton County passed 1,800 on Tuesday, according to the Fulton County Health Department.

There were 171 new cases reported over Monday and Tuesday, according to the Health Department. The department reported 109 new cases on Monday and 62 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of 1,832. There are no updates from the county on weekends, so the Monday number includes Saturday and Sunday figures.

The Fulton County Health Department did not report any additional COVID-19 deaths on Monday or Tuesday, with the total remaining at 31. There were 12 additional hospitalizations, for a total of 110 since March.

Among the cases through Tuesday there were 1,045 females and 781 males. The median age for confirmed cases is 50.

Lucas County had 18,837 cases and 446 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 1,941 cases and 40 deaths, Williams County 1,545 cases and 12 deaths, and Henry County 1,308 cases and 29 deaths.

There have been 510,018 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there had been 30,226 hospitalizations and 5,010 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease.

There are 6,601 confirmed deaths statewide, with 502 more probable COVID-19 deaths.

• DeWine also discussed on Monday the Ohio Department of Health aligning with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current case definition. In August, the CDC changed the case definition of antigen testing to include case counts without additional verification. Ohio has continued to manually verify an epidemiological link, such as a known positive contact, with an antigen positive test result.

As of Tuesday, the department began including antigen tests without an epidemiological link in the total case count. This resulted in a one-day spike in reported cases from pending positive antigen cases.

That happened Tuesday, when 25,721 new cases were reported. The 21-day average is 9,408 cases reported per day.

“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”

Not all pending cases will be translated into new cases. Cases will be checked and duplicate records will be removed. Cases will also be assigned to their appropriate onset date.

• On Monday, DeWine issued a statement urging Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package.

“We are grateful in Ohio for the significant federal assistance provided to date, but more relief is desperately needed to support the ongoing state and local government response to this pandemic and to help our citizens, businesses, health care providers, essential workers, and schools as we face the public health and economic challenges that remain,” he said.

• Papilio Spa and Wellness Center on Shoop Avenue in Wauseon announced it was closing due to “financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

• Premier Bank locations are now only serving customers at drive up teller windows and in the lobby through appointments as needed. All drive-thru locations will remain open normal business hours to assist customers. Online banking, mobile banking, and ATMs are suggested alternative options.

“While we have not received direct orders from government agencies or regulators, we have made the proactive decision to modify our lobby services to protect the health and safety of our team and those we serve. We continue to work closely with local health officials and follow state guidance to protect the health, safety and well-being of our clients, employees, and communities,” said Gary Small, president.

• The Ohio Department of Health announced a pop-up testing site on Thursday between noon and 5 p.m. at the Gillette Building on the Williams County Fairgrounds, 619 E. Main St., Montpelier.

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Staff Report