Ohio governor sets school guidelines, introduces coding system
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gov. Mike DeWine says most teachers will be required to wear masks or face shields at Ohio schools that resume in-person classes this fall, and face coverings are strongly recommended for students in third grade and above.
He shared long-awaited state guidance Thursday for districts considering whether and how to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
State officials are urging schools to use social distancing, vigilantly assess symptoms, provide hand sanitizer and thoroughly clean school spaces.
But the guidance leaves many details up to the districts.
The guidelines come as the number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases in Ohio continues to climb.
Meanwhile, at a briefing Thursday, DeWine said Ohio is using a new color-coded coronavirus alert system to assess which counties may be seeing flare-ups of cases and should take additional precautions.
It’s based on data such as cases, related hospital admissions and the proportion of cases connected to congregate settings, such as prisons or nursing homes.
No counties were in the most concerning level, purple. Seven are labeled red, indicating very high risk and that people there should limit activity and wear masks while out.
28 counties were orange, and 53, including most southeast Ohio counties, had the least concerning yellow label.
DeWine encouraged mask-wearing but says he doesn’t intend to make it a statewide requirement.
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