Coronavirus: Fewer than 800 new cases reported Sunday

Bo Nash, drove from Dayton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 to the old Greene County Career Technology Center to be tested for COVID-19. The tests were free to anyone.
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Bo Nash, drove from Dayton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 to the old Greene County Career Technology Center to be tested for COVID-19. The tests were free to anyone.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

The state has reported 735 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the first time in 2021 that new cases fell below 1,000. The current 21-day case average is 1,863, the Ohio Department of Health reported. The last time the state saw numbers below 1,000 was in September of 2020, ODH reported.

Coronavirus hospitalizations fell below 900 today, with a total of 820 people currently in Ohio hospitals are positive for COVID-19, the Ohio Hospital Association reported. In southwest Ohio, 248 people are hospitalized with coronavirus. In the past 24 hours, 33 new hospitalizations were reported.

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Students — some of whom haven’t been in a classroom in nearly a year due to COVID — are behind, according to state and national testing data. Some studies say the gap is minimal, while others say it’s half a year or more.

Districts across the Dayton region report a range of learning loss, with some seeing increases in students considered at risk, others experiencing relatively stable progress and a few with academic gains.

The question is how to reverse losses now to avoid a downward domino effect. An analysis by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank suggested current learning loss could lead to a 3.8% increase in high school dropouts in the coming years, hurting the labor force and the economy.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told schools to submit plans this month on how they’ll help students catch up. Those plans will vary, because in schools, one size almost never fits all — especially when some kids have been in classrooms daily since August and others have been fully online for 51 weeks.

“One of the positives this year is understanding the importance of personalization,” state Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said. “A lot more people have spent time understanding where kids are, what their needs are, and figuring out the best way to address those needs.”

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