Coronavirus: Clark, Champaign schools cases drop by over 50

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

School districts in Clark and Champaign counties have reported just under 100 new cases of the coronavirus in the past week.

Eleven 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, 93 student and staff cases were reported between the counties Thursday for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3. This is a decline from the previous week’s total of 168 cases.

There were 54 cases reported in Clark County schools and 39 cases reported in Champaign County schools, according to ODH.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and quarantines, several school districts have implemented and extended masking requirements.

Springfield City Schools, Global Impact STEM Academy, Northwestern Elementary and Urbana City Schools are the local schools to require masks. Clark-Shawnee and Tecumseh Local Schools are requiring masks through Oct. 15, Greenon is requiring masks through Oct. 22 and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools has short-term masking in place for certain classes.

Since several districts have been requiring masks, there has been a decline in school reported cases. Northeastern is one district that was requiring masks, but have said they will go back to optional masking today since the district has seen a decrease in cases and quarantines.

“We have been monitoring our numbers over the past month and have seen a decrease in our quarantines and positive cases. Additionally, local health officials are optimistic that we are beginning to see the signs of a downward trend in cases in Clark County,” said Superintendent John Kronour.

Although masking may become optional again, Kronour said they will still be strongly encouraged. They are still mandated on school transportation.

“We will continue to strongly encourage anyone to wear a face-covering while inside a NELSD building. This is one of the best ways for us to continue in-person learning and keep masking optional,” he said. “If we see an increase of positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines in our buildings, a universal mask requirement is likely to go back into effect. In addition, we could also decide to implement universal masking at individual school buildings based on numbers.”

Kronour is reminding families that anyone who is masked consistency and follows three-foot social distancing will not be required to quarantine if considered a close contact.

Tecumseh Local Schools Superintendent Paula Crew also said cases have decreased since requiring masks.

“The number of students quarantined and the COVID positive cases have significantly decreased during the implemented mask requirement the past three weeks within our district,” she said.

Even though cases have decreased in the district, the masking requirement was extended through Oct. 15 and anticipated to go back to optional starting Oct. 18.

The school districts that reported student and staff cases are:

Catholic Central: 9 students, 1 staff

Clark-Shawnee: 3 students

Greenon: 2 students

Madison-Champaign ESC: 2 staff

Mechanicsburg: 5 students

Nightingale Montessori Inc.: 2 students

Northeastern: 7 students

Northwestern: 2 students

Ridgewood School: 2 students

Southeastern: 3 students

Springfield: 13 students

Springfield-Clark County: 5 students

Tecumseh: 4 students, 1 staff

Triad: 10 students

Urbana: 14 students, 2 staff

West Liberty-Salem: 5 students, 1 staff

Cases reported on the school dashboard lag one week, meaning those reported Thursday were from Sept. 27-Oct. 3.

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.

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