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Gov. DeWine Says In-Person School At Stake As COVID-19 Cases Increase

A stop sign on a school bus.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says the most effective way to bring down the current spike of COVID-19 in Ohio is for everyone to start taking social distancing more seriously. DeWine laid out what the stakes are if the virus continues to spread.

DeWine says the increasing cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 through community spread can be a main indicator for in-person classes for children.

"We can turn this heat down and we can get back to a simmer of this virus instead of a flame starting to really, really come up, because that flame is a direct threat to keeping our kids in schools," DeWine says.

The governor says he has no plans for a statewide shutdown of in-person education, which happened in March. However, he says the local districts base their future plans on the spread of the virus in each county.

More than 65% of Ohio's population is living in a county designated as a Level 3 Red county under the state's health advisory system and school districts have used that system to gauge if students should go back to in-person education, stay all virtual or a hybrid of the two.

DeWine says, at this point, staying socially distant and wearing masks is more effective through personal responsibility than government enforcement.

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.