Clark, Champaign school districts report over 200 new COVID cases

Clark-Shawnee also extends masking requirement through Oct. 1.

School districts in Clark and Champaign counties have reported over 200 new cases of the coronavirus in the past week.

Nine Clark County and five Champaign County school districts reported new cases of COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s school district dashboard’s latest update.

In total, 201 student and staff cases were reported between the counties Thursday for the week of Sept. 7-13. This is an increase from the previous week’s total of 189 cases.

There were 112 cases reported in Clark County schools and 89 cases reported in Champaign County schools, according to ODH.

Northeastern Local School District had the highest number of student cases at 37 and Triad Local School District had the highest number of staff cases at nine.

Due to the rise in cases and quarantines, another local school has extended their masking requirement.

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools has a temporary masking requirement through Friday, but the school board voted on Wednesday to extend the masking requirement for students and staff through Oct. 1.

“This was a difficult decision for the board of education to make. As we’ve shared with our community many times, we believe it is critically important for our students to be at school in person as much as possible. This is important not just for their educational progress, but for their mental health and social-emotional development,” Superintendent Brian Kuhn said in a release.

ExploreSchool cases from last week

Gov. Mike DeWine said wearing masks in the classroom is the best way to keep children in school.

“It is abundantly clear, by what we’ve seen in the first two, three weeks of school, that the way you keep kids in school is to keep them masked,” DeWine said Tuesday during a press conference. “Vaccinate them if you can vaccinate them, if they are 12 and above, and then if they’re not vaccinated, have them wear a mask.”

Kuhn said the district saw many students missing school due to quarantine when school started without a mask requirement. Since there has been a mask requirement, he said there have been fewer quarantines.

“The masking requirement has been effective so far in reducing the number of students missing school due to quarantine,” he said. “Our percentage of students quarantined has decreased from 18% on Aug. 31 to 2% on Sept. 14.”

Springfield City Schools, Northeastern and Global Impact STEM Academy are the other local schools to require masks. Tecumseh Local Schools is requiring masks through Oct. 1 and also moved all middle and high school students to virtual learning through today.

The school districts that reported student and staff cases are:

Clark-Shawnee: 8 students, 4 staff

Global Impact STEM Academy: 2 students

Graham: 8 students, 5 staff

Greenon: 5 students

Madison-Champaign ESC: 7 students, 2 staff

Mechanicsburg: 11 students

Northeastern: 37 students, 2 staff

Southeastern: 4 students, 3 staff

Springfield Christian: 2 students

Springfield: 10 students, 1 staff

Springfield-Clark County: 6 students, 2 staff

Tecumseh: 25 students, 1 staff

Triad: 33 students, 9 staff

Urbana: 14 students

ExploreOhio’s daily COVID hospitalizations nearly triple vs. year ago, Vanderhoff says

Cases reported on the school dashboard lag one week, meaning those reported Thursday were from Sept. 7-10.

The dashboard tracks cases of COVID-19 in all public and private K-12 schools across the state. Data displayed on the board includes all student and staff cases broken into new and cumulative categories. The board is updated Thursdays.

Clark County had 17,304 coronavirus cases and 321 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Champaign County had 4,295 cases and 63 deaths.

As of Thursday, 63,809 vaccination shots have been given in Clark County, according to ODH. Almost 48% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and just over 44% have been fully vaccinated.

In Champaign County, 15,463 vaccination shots have been given. Almost 40% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and just over 36% has been fully vaccinated.

By the numbers

17,304: Number of COVID-19 cases reported in Clark County

4,295: Number of COVID-19 cases reported in Champaign County

63,809: Number of vaccination shots given in Clark County

17,304: Number of vaccination shots given in Champaign County

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