ODH announces updates to school COVID guidelines

Staff Report

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

• Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, this week announced additional quarantine options, “Mask to Stay” and “Test to Play,” for school districts and local health departments across the state. Out-of-school quarantining has the unintended consequence of reducing in-school learning and can place an added strain on parents, schools, and local health departments.

“While vaccination and masking remain critical components of ensuring a safe school environment, to support in-school learning, we offer an in-school alternative to out-of-school quarantining for students and school staff exposed to COVID-19 in school settings and during school-related activities,” explained Dr. Vanderhoff. “Those exposed outside of school-related activities, such as in the household, should continue to follow standard quarantine guidelines.”

The proposed changes incorporate mask-wearing and testing to reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19 within structured school settings and provide a safe alternative to out-of-school quarantine.

Masking after in-school contact will allow many students to stay in school. Masking and testing will give student athletes an option to continue to participate in extra curricular activities.

For more details, visit odh.ohio.gov.

• Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported early this week by the Fulton County Health Department. There have now been 98 deaths in the county.

There were 73 new cases reported in the time period by the Fulton County Health Department. On Monday, 59 new cases were reported for Oct. 22-25, and on Tuesday 14 new cases were reported.

The 73 cases is a drop from 84 early last week.

The age group with the highest number of cases reported this week those in their 40s, with 17 cases.

The total number of cases reported in Fulton County is now 6,065. The median age of COVID cases is 43.

In the county, positive cases have included 3,313 females and 2,729 males. The case rate over the last two weeks was 486.4 in Fulton County and 419.2 overall in Ohio.

Four new hospitalizations were reported in Fulton County early this week, including two people in their 50s and two in their 70s.

• The level of community transmission of coronavirus in Fulton County is listed as high by the Centers for Disease Control. The levels are low, moderate, substantial, then high.

Indoor mask wearing is recommended in areas with substantial or high transmission.

More information on the CDC categories of community transmission risk can be found at covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

• The Fulton County Health Department on Tuesday released the vaccination status of cases reported last week. The majority of new cases were among the unvaccinated, at 64%.

Another 13% had an unknown vaccination status. That is either people who were vaccinated in another state or are not vaccinated.

For the week, 21% of new cases were from people fully vaccinated and 2% partially vaccinated individuals.

• In Fulton County, 47.37% of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those 70-74 years old have the highest rate of vaccination in Fulton County, at 88.07%, according Ohio Department of Health data.

• COVID-19 vaccine is available Mondays at the FCHD from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Vaccine is also available at Rite Aid locations in Archbold, Swanton and Wauseon, the Wauseon Walmart, and Swanton Kroger.

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Staff Report