Nearly 180 affected by COVID-19 outbreak at Clark County high school, health commissioner says

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Almost 180 close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases are now quarantining as a result of an outbreak at Kenton Ridge High School, according to the county’s health commissioner.

As of Friday afternoon, the outbreak at the high school had turned up eight positive student cases, two positive staff cases and six probable cases, Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said.

In addition to those cases, 179 close contacts of positive cases are also quarantining. According to the CDC, a close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an individual with a confirmed case of COVID for 15 minutes or more.

“That’s a total of 189 affected, just with Kenton Ridge,” Patterson said.

On Wednesday the Northeastern Local School District made the decision to move Kenton Ridge students to virtual learning as a result of the outbreak and on the advice of the CCCHD. Virtual learning will run through Friday, Oct. 16. During that time, crews will deep clean, sanitize and disinfect the school.

“The recommendation was that Kenton Ridge be shut down until the 19th. We will have to continue to look at that to see if that’s our recommendation in the future or if that changes depending on how many cases we see," Patterson said.

Patterson said the district is keeping a “special eye,” on Rolling Hill Elementary and Northridge Middle and Elementary School, all three of which are in the Northeastern district.

“We are starting to see spread to siblings who are at Northridge," Patterson said. “They (Northridge and Kenton Ridge) do share a common area within that building. We are in constant communication with the superintendent and his staff and the principals and nurses. We are looking at that situation very closely as we go into the weekend."

Earlier this week, Northeastern Superintendent John Kronour urged parents to keep their children away from other students during Kenton Ridge virtual learning period.

“We ask all families to make sure their students refrain from getting together with students from other households during this time so we can get back to in-person school as soon as possible,” Kronour said. “Our ability to return to school, athletics and activities rests on all of us to follow the spirit of this period of virtual learning.”

Patterson said he is also concerned about rising cases in long-term care facilities.

On Wednesday, Forest Glen Health Campus in Springfield reported 49 current resident and 15 current staff COVID-19.

With the new cases, the facility has 57 cumulative resident cases, 18 cumulative staff cases and seven total deaths, according to data from the CCCHD, bringing the health campus’s total number of cases to 75.

That makes Forest Glen the county’s largest long-term care facility outbreak, as of Wednesday when the county updated the latest case numbers.

Other facilities reporting outbreaks include Vancrest at New Carlisle (20 current resident, eight current staff, 29 total cumulative cases) and Northwood Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation (six current resident cases, three current staff cases, nine deaths, one probable death, 67 total cumulative cases).

Clark County had 2,077 cases, 49 deaths and four probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio reported 166,102 total cases and 4,994 total deaths of the coronavirus on Friday, according to ODH. Between Thursday and Friday, the state reported 1,840 new cases of the virus — which is a record for the state. The previous highest number of daily cases was 1,733 which was set on July 30.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he is “deeply concerned” about the state’s coronavirus numbers and stressed the importance of continuing to wear face masks and avoiding large groups.

Facts & Figures:

8: COVID-19 positive students cases at Kenton Ridge High School

2: COVID-19 positive staff cases at Kenton Ridge High School

179: Close contacts of COVID positive cases quarantining

Source: Clark County Combined Health District, data as of Friday afternoon

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