Coronavirus: Two Clark County districts, one private school, two Champaign report cases

Two Clark County school districts and one Springfield private school reported new cases of COVID-19 this week, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 school district dashboard.

In total, 10 cases were reported in both Clark and Champaign counties, coming in just shy of last week’s 11 total cases.

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, Northeastern Local Schools, Ridgewood School, Graham Local School District and West Liberty-Salem Local Schools all reported new cases.

Clark-Shawnee reported two students and one staff case; Northeastern reported two students and two staff cases; Ridgewood reported one staff case and Graham and West Liberty reported one student case.

Cases reported on the dashboard lag one week. Cases reported Thursday were from the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4.

That means that cases in one school district, Northeastern, could have a significant impact on numbers as a result of an ongoing outbreak at Kenton Ridge High School.

On Wednesday, the district announced they would be moving the high school online on the advice of the Clark County Combined Health District.

As of Wednesday afternoon, according to the CCCHD, four positive student cases and four probable cases, along with two positive staff cases had been identified in connection to the outbreak.

In addition to the confirmed and probable cases, 122 close contacts of cases are currently quarantining as a result of the outbreak.

The dashboard is the result of an ODH order requiring schools to report cases to their health department within 24 hours of learning of them. Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled the dashboard on Sept. 17.

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

Clark and Champaign County remained at level 2 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Thursday marked the seventh straight week Clark County has stayed at the orange level.

Prior to the last seven weeks, Clark County bounced between level 2 and level 3 since DeWine unveiled the advisory system on July 2.

The advisory system ranges from level 1 or yellow as lowest to level 4 or purple as highest and most severe. No county has received a purple rating.

The seven indicators the Ohio Department of Health uses when judging what level to give a county are: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not in a congregate spread, sustained increase in emergency department visits for COVID-like illness, sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness, sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions and intensive care unit bed occupancy.

For the last four weeks, Clark County hit three indicators: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases and proportion of cases not in a congregate spread.

Champaign County hit two indicators the cases per capita and proportion of cases not in a congregate spread.

Clark County had 2,048 cases, 52 deaths and four probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, according to ODH. Champaign County had 335 cases and three deaths.

Statewide, 18 counties were given a level 3 rating this week, including neighboring Montgomery County.

This week, 58 counties statewide were given an orange rating, the highest ever, DeWine said. The state also saw the highest number of red counties since July 23.

DeWine said many local health officials are citing lax social distancing and mask-wearing, as well of people not following quarantine and isolation guidelines, as reasons for the spike.

“To live with the virus we need to adjust our routines,” DeWine said. “That may mean reconsidering attending a crowded event, reconsidering attending a party. And if you happen to get sick, please answer the phone when you get a call from a contact tracer.”

Ohio reported 164,262 total cases and 4,983 deaths of the coronavirus on Thursday, according to ODH. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the state reported 1,539 new cases and 13 new deaths.

The 21-day average is 1,080 cases and 19 deaths. Daily cases have trended upward over the last three days, something that DeWine has called “concerning.”

DeWine also noted that the state’s positivity rate is starting to increase. The rolling seven-day rate is 3.3%. At its lowest rate in mid to late September is was 2.7%.

“Our basic prevention measures hold true today as they did at the beginning of the pandemic: Stay home when you are sick, even if you think you have allergies or a common cold. Wear a mask. Social distance. And quarantine when you are exposed,” DeWine said.

Schools reporting coronavirus cases this week:

Clark-Shawnee Local School District: 2 student cases, 1 staff

Northeastern Local School District: 2 student cases, 2 staff

Ridgewood School: 1 staff case

Graham Local School District: 1 student case

West Liberty-Salem Local School District: 1 student case

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