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Coronavirus In Ohio: Schools Must Create Notification Systems To Report Cases

Avery Elementary School in Hilliard on May 11, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
Avery Elementary School in Hilliard on May 11, 2020.

The state is requiring every school district in Ohio to come up with a reporting system to notify the community and health officials about COVID-19 cases in the classroom. Gov. Mike DeWine says this is another resource to help schools stay open for in-person learning.

The health order will require districts to establish a reporting mechanism so parents and guardians can tell a school if their child or a staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19. DeWine says an example could be something similar to an attendance phone line, which parents call to tell administrators their child will be absent.

Then the schools will be required to notify the local health department and the other families at that school.

"The better information that can come into that school, better information that can come to that local health department, we're going to be able to manage this better. They are going to be able to manage that better. And our school has a much better chance of being able to stay opens," says DeWine, adding that this will be a "team effort."

DeWine says the order will include measures to protect student health information, adding it's already common for schools to report health issues such as lice.

"The fact that a school has reports that there is covered in the school or a student or faculty member or someone who works there, the fact that that gets reported should not necessarily cause any great alarm. Again, the schools are going to reflect what is in in the community," DeWine says.

The health order has yet to be written. DeWine said he wanted to make the announcement to let communities know what will be expected.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.