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23,000 cases reported in schools

23,000 cases reported in schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Coronavirus cases reported by Ohio’s K-12 schools skyrocketed over the past week as regular reporting rates resumed after the winter break.

Schools reported 23,268 new cases to the Ohio Department of Health in the week ending Sunday, January 9, the first week of the winter semester for most schools as they resume classes after the holidays.

This week’s rise is by far the highest since NBC4 began tracking in mid-September.

Ohio K-12 Schools Have Joined ODH 159,350 total cases among students and staff since the start of the school year. Infections were detected in and outside school.

Weekly COVID-19 Cases Reported by Ohio Schools:

  • September 17: +10.682
  • September 24: +9,827
  • 1: +7.564
  • October 7: +7.405
  • October 14: +6,289
  • October 21: +5,116
  • Oct 28: +4.660
  • Nov 4: +4.696
  • November 11: +5.348
  • Nov 18: +6,781
  • Nov 24: +6668
  • Dec 2: +5,134
  • December 9: +10,190
  • Dec 16: +8,428
  • Dec 23: +9.984
  • Dec 30: +4,016
  • January 6: +5,559
  • January 13: +23.268

Schools report cases among students and staff to ODH on Tuesday, showing the week ending the previous Sunday. ODH publishes numbers on Thursdays at 2 p.m.

Case criteria

  • Full-time or part-time students and staff who have tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19. Infections were detected in and outside school.
  • Employees include teachers, administrators, coaches, and support staff.
  • Excludes students/staff who are completely remote, but includes them if they were “on site” while contagious.
  • ODH reports “new” and “cumulative” cases. Cases don’t move to “cumulative” until the person is no longer COVID positive. NBC4’s count of new cases each week reflects the change in “cumulative” cases. More information

    1,571 (57%) of the 2,769 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, kindergartens and other non-university institutions ODH attends reported a case this school year. That is eight schools more than last week.

    The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 31 cases, while the median number for school districts is 141 cases.

    131,172 (82%) of Ohio school cases are students and 28,178 (18%) are staff members, including teachers, administrators, coaches, and support staff. Last school year, students were down about 2 in 3 and staff 1 in 3.

    Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, leads the state with 3,276 cases, ahead of Cleveland and Columbus school districts with 2,806 and 2,079 cases, respectively. Columbus is one of Franklin County’s four counties in the top eight.

    As the highly contagious omicron strain of COVID-19 continues to increase the number of cases statewide, some Ohio school districts have opted for hybrid or distance learning since returning from winter break.

    83.7% of Ohio public school students attend school five days a week, according to Thursday data from the Ohio Department of Education. Sixty-four districts have chosen to go hybrid or remote or extend the winter break, which is more than double last week.

    ODH director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff told reporters On Thursday, the health department continues to “advance strongly for masks in schools” because of the scientific evidence showing how they act as a barrier to infection.

    54% of students are in a neighborhood where masks are mandatory for all or some students, a slight increase from last week. 46% of students learn where masks are optional.