OHIO – Governor Dewine spoke today in a press conference about one of the things that has troubled most parents most about COVID-19 pandemic, school.
“For the remainder of this school year, our young people will continue to go to school remotely,” said Dewine, “I want to take a moment to thank all of our teachers and school administrators and support staff, such as our kitchen staff, bus drivers, and maintenance workers. You are all our heroes. I want to thank all of the parents as well.
Why are we keeping schools closed? We’ve flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left – many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn’t be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved.
We have to think about the risk to teachers, students, and our communities.
As we move forward – we’ve made no decision about the fall. I know parents, teachers, and administrators are anxious about an answer about the fall, but we’re not in the position to make that decision yet.
I know that schools and superintendents and educators across Ohio are working on some very innovative solutions as they continue to plan for next year. I encourage schools to continue to do this planning.”
Dewine then spoke on what the next year of school looks like, “There is the possibility that we will have a blended system this fall — some distance learning as well as some in-person learning. That’s just a possibility and each school district is different.
As these decisions are made, we’re going to allow a great deal of flexibility w/in broad parameters for the local schools. What you find in one district is different from another district.
I’m so impressed with everything our educators are doing to continue educating our kids in these difficult circumstances. As I talk with teachers, superintendents, and parents – I have concerns about particular groups of kids who aren’t able to physically be in school.”
Dewine spoke of children at risk:
- Children with special developmental needs
- Children with health challenges: We must figure out how to protect kids with unique health challenges.
- Kids with no or limited access to the internet
- Children who do not have a supportive home lives.
COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting African Americans in Ohio and the country. This is very concerning.
We have put together a Minority Health Strike Force – it’s a group of people from throughout Ohio who will focus on this issue.
The group includes minority business leaders, faith community leaders, and others, and this group’s membership will continue to grow.
Director Acton previously issued an order which made hospitals send their samples to in-state COVID-19 testing laboratories due to the slow turnaround time from LabCorp and Quest.
I am pleased to report that commercial laboratories currently have no backlog of samples. They have added more testing capacity and have better turnaround times. Given these improvements, we will allow hospitals to utilize commercial laboratories again.
It is imperative during the COVID-19 crisis that we balance the public’s right to know with privacy rights. So far, as part of our commitment to transparency, ODH has developed several data dashboards to reflect data from multiple sources.
Dewine spoke on the daycare situation when he was question on what parents will do that have no access to daycare and no schools during work.
“We have not made a decision on daycares yet. For the same reason we don’t want schools meeting in person – it’s the same concern for daycares. It’s a number of kids together who then go back home – it’s a perfect recipe for spread. We’re not ready yet to open up more daycares yet.
Dewine mentioned protesters in front of the statehouse this weekend and today.
“I have full respect for protesters, but I just ask them to be safe. My job is to listen to the people of Ohio and guide us in a way that gets us through this by losing as few people as possible while trying to put our economy back together.”
– 12,516 confirmed cases
– 403 probable cases
– 12,919 total cases
– Ages range from <1 to 106
– 40% Females, 59% Males
– 2,653 hospitalizations, in ICU
– 2,081 healthcare workers, 16%
– 491 confirmed deaths
– 18 probable deaths
– 509 total deaths
– 87 counties affected
– 90,839 tested