Northwestern no longer requiring masks for elementary students

Northwestern Local School District will no longer require masks for elementary students. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Northwestern Local School District will no longer require masks for elementary students. Bill Lackey/Staff

School cases continue to decrease while state cases continue to rise.

Northwestern Local School District is no longer requiring masks for elementary school students.

“Starting (Tuesday), the elementary buses and building will return to mask optional but strongly recommended,” according to Superintendent Jesse Steiner.

The district changed to required masking for elementary school students on Sept. 21 due to a high number of positive cases and quarantines.

According to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard for the week of Oct. 4-8, the school reported six positive and 29 quarantined cases. This includes two positive and 15 quarantine at the elementary school.

Northeastern is another district that was requiring masks, but have since returned to optional masking as of Monday due to a decrease in cases and quarantines.

The local school districts that continue to require masks include Springfield City Schools, Global Impact STEM Academy and Urbana City Schools. 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.

ExploreCoronavirus: Clark, Champaign schools cases drop by over 50

School districts in Clark and Champaign counties reported 93 new student and staff cases of COVID-19 for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s school district dashboard. There were 54 cases reported in 11 Clark County schools and 39 cases reported in five Champaign County schools. Cases reported lag one week, and the dashboard is updated on Thursdays.

Clark County had 19,308 coronavirus cases and 346 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Champaign County had 4,932 cases and 70 deaths.

As of Tuesday, 65,465 vaccination shots have been given in Clark County, according to ODH. Almost 49% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and over 45% have been fully vaccinated.

In Champaign County, 15,885 vaccination shots have been given. Almost 41% of the county’s total population has received at least one shot and almost 40% has been fully vaccinated.

ExplorePREVIOUS: Northwestern schools requires masks for elementary students

Ohio recorded 4,456 cases in the last day, bringing its total to 1,474,723, and 202 deaths on Tuesday, according to the state health department. In the last week the state is averaging 5,033 cases day.

As of Tuesday, 55 % of Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccine, including 66% of adults and 64% of those 12 and older. Nearly 51% of residents have finished the vaccine, including 62% of adults and 59% of Ohioans 12 and older, according to ODH.

Ohio reported 323 hospitalizations in the last day, which is the first time since Thursday, according to ODH. ICU admissions were also up with 31 reported, making it the second time the state exceeded 30 admissions this month. The last time Ohio surpassed 30 daily ICU admissions was on Oct. 1 when the state reported 32.

While daily hospitalizations and ICU admissions were up Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients in Ohio’s hospitals continues to decrease. The state reported 3,407 hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, including 943 in ICUs and 646 on ventilators, according to ODH.