Northeastern schools to require masks due to rise in cases, quarantines

The Northeastern Local School District will require all students, staff and visitors to wear masks.

Superintendent John Kronour said he knows keeping students learning in person “is best for their education progress,” but with high cases and quarantines they had to take an extra measure of caution.

“Under the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) quarantine guidance, students and staff do not have to quarantine from school if they are exposed to COVID-19 at school when a universal masking requirement is in place, as long as those individuals are wearing a mask and following protocols,” he said. “Therefore, based on these guidelines, the continued rise in cases and quarantines, and a recommendation from Clark County Combined Health Department (CCCHD), NELSD has decided to take an essential step to help our students and staff stay in school.”

The district has implemented a universal mask requirement for anyone entering school buildings, including all students in preschool through 12 grade, staff and visitors inside buildings or on a school bus or van.

ExploreClark, Champaign school districts report nearly 200 new COVID cases

According to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were 79 positive and 419 quarantine cases for the week of Sept. 6-10.

The district moved to virtual learning for Northeastern Middle and High School and Northridge Elementary School students for two days last week due to the increase in positive cases and quarantines.

“In our first week of reporting numbers on our COVID-19 dashboard, we had 4.39% of the student body across the district in quarantine. We had 7.79% of our whole student body in quarantine in our second week of reporting numbers. As of today (Sept. 10), we have 13.96% of our student body in quarantine. With those numbers continuing to rise across the district today, it is clear that we are not accomplishing our goal of keeping students learning in person,” Kronour said.

Springfield City Schools, Tecumseh Local Schools and Global Impact STEM Academy are the only other local schools to require masks. Clark-Shawnee implemented a temporary masking requirement through Sept. 17 and closed schools for two days two weeks ago. Last week, Tecumseh moved all middle and high school students to virtual learning through Sept. 17 and will require masks through Oct. 1.

ExploreNortheastern goes virtual for 2 days; Global Impact STEM Academy to require masks

Clark County had 17,003 coronavirus cases and 320 deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Champaign County had 4,195 cases and 63 deaths.

As of Monday, 63,484 vaccination shots have been given in Clark County, according to ODH. Just over 47% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and just over 44% have been fully vaccinated.

In Champaign County, 15,392 vaccination shots have been given. Over 39% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and almost 37% has been fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 cases, quarantines in schools in Clark and Champaign counties

Clark-Shawnee: 39 positive, 61 quarantined

GISA: 11 positive, 13 quarantined

Mechanicsburg: 22 cumulative

Northeastern: 79 positive, 419 quarantined

Northwestern: 5 positive, 33 quarantined

Southeastern: 13 positive, 10 quarantined

Springfield: 49 positive, 412 quarantined

Tecumseh: 37 positive, 95 quarantined

Triad: zero positive

Source: Clark and Champaign counties’ school COVID-19 dashboards for week of Sept. 6-10, 2021.