ODH: Increased spread outside school setting


Bright, Fairfield, Greenfield, Lynchburg-Clay school districts’ self-report Covid numbers

By McKenzie Caldwell - mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com



Editor’s Note — This story has been updated to clarify that the Ohio Department of Education does not collect data on COVID-19 in schools.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) continues to report limited COVID-19 spread in a classroom setting, though there has been an increase in community spread due to informal gatherings outside of school, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stated this week.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) also surveys how districts’ students are learning — whether through in-person, hybrid, or remote learning plans — though schools are not required to report this information, a representative of the ODE told The Times-Gazette. The data from these surveys are not considered complete or official.

“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.

In Highland County, Bright Local and Fairfield Local previously transitioned to remote learning and blended learning plans, respectively. Both districts’ students returned to in-person learning earlier this month.

In other Covid-related news from Highland County’s public school districts:

* As of Dec. 4, Bright Local reported one active positive case involving a staff member, according to the district’s Covid report, available at blsd.us.

Also as of Dec. 4, 22 students and two staff members were in quarantine.

Before Bright Local temporarily transitioned to remote learning on Nov. 17, the district reported seven positive cases involving students. In addition, 103 students and six staff members were in quarantine.

Bright Local students returned to in-person learning on Dec. 2.

* As of Thursday, Fairfield Local reported three active positive cases involving students and three active positive cases involving staff, according to the district’s Covid report, available at fairfieldlocal.org.

Also as of Thursday, 40 students and three staff members were in quarantine.

During the week that Fairfield temporarily transitioned to blended learning on Nov. 19, the district reported six positive cases involving students. In addition, 152 students and four staff members were in quarantine.

The school operated on a blended learning schedule until Dec. 7, when students returned to in-person learning. Under the blended learning model, students were divided into two groups that alternated between in-person and virtual learning.

By Nov. 29, Fairfield had seven positive cases involving students, and 156 students and three staff members in quarantine.

By Dec. 6, the district had two positive cases involving staff members, and 18 students and two staff members in quarantine.

* As of Thursday, Greenfield Village Exempted (GEVSD) reported six active positive cases involving students and seven active positive cases involving staff, according to the district’s Covid report, available at greenfield.k12.oh.us.

Also as of Thursday, 101 students and five staff members were in quarantine.

On Monday, GEVSD Superintendent Quincey Gray reported that students would receive a letter regarding updated quarantine guidelines.

Gray also urged GEVSD families to remain vigilant and maintain COVID-19 precautions, such as social distancing, frequent hand-washing and sanitizing, and mask-wearing. Gray stressed that those who are ill or under quarantine should stay home.

“We appreciate the communication that we have had with our families and staff members when they feel ill or have been tested,” Gray wrote in a Facebook post. “Open communication has helped us to not have an outbreak and instead only individualized cases with no overwhelming spread at school. We greatly appreciate your support as we continue to work diligently to keep students on a regular schedule and able to actively participate in activities.”

* Hillsboro City Schools Superintendent Tim Davis told The Times-Gazette that the district had two new positive cases involving students and one new positive case involving a staff member on Thursday.

The district’s school nurse is working with the Highland County Health Department to notify those who have had close contact with the cases. The nurse or the health department will reach out to close contacts. Otherwise, Davis requests that family members not contact the school to inquire whether their child was a close contact.

* As of Thursday, Lynchburg-Clay Local reported one active positive case involving a student, according to the district’s Covid report, available at lynchclay.k12.oh.us.

Also as of Thursday, 48 students and six staff members were in quarantine.

As of Thursday, the ODH reported the following Covid statistics for Highland County’s school systems:

* Bright Local reported one new case involving a staff member. This school year, Bright has had nine cumulative student cases and two cumulative staff cases.

* Fairfield Local reported two new cases involving students and two new cases involving staff. This school year, Fairfield has had 13 cumulative student cases and seven cumulative staff cases.

* GEVSD reported three new cases involving students and seven new cases involving staff. This school year, GEVSD has had 17 cumulative student cases and 16 cumulative staff cases.

* Hillsboro Christian Academy did not report any new cases in the preschool or the private school. The preschool has had one cumulative student case and four cumulative staff cases. This school year, the private school has had one cumulative student case and six cumulative staff cases.

* Hillsboro City Schools reported one new case involving a staff member. This school year, Hillsboro City Schools has had 14 cumulative student cases and 11 cumulative staff cases.

* Lynchburg-Clay Local reported five new cases involving students and three new cases involving staff. This school year, Lynchburg-Clay has had 13 cumulative student cases and nine cumulative staff cases.

* The Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities, St. Mary Catholic, and Stonewall Academy have reported no cases this school year as of Thursday.

Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner previously stated that there is a delay in the reporting process.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/12/web1_CoronaVirusLogo-5.jpg
Bright, Fairfield, Greenfield, Lynchburg-Clay school districts’ self-report Covid numbers

By McKenzie Caldwell

mcaldwell@aimmediamidwest.com