COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine began his briefing with a plea for Ohioans to wear a mask, social distance and avoid large gatherings in order to halt “high community spread,” which, he reminded Ohioans, contines to impact the education of many children in the state.
In the last two weeks, at least 16 districts across Ohio have scaled back to hybrid or fully remote learning models because of community spread. DeWine said at least 50 districts have moved to online learning, with nearly 300,000 students unable to attend in-person classes.
“It should concern all Ohioans that so many of our kids are going to school remotely. While many kids can do well under these circumstances, many cannot. Some of our poorest children who thrive in an in-person learning environment do not do nearly as well online," he said.
School districts in Ohio determine when students may attend classes in-person.
The governor said some school districts have had to change their plans for the rest of the year, citing an example in Toledo, where school leaders made the decision to keep their high schools closed until the end of the semester, meaning students will have no in-person classes for at least half of this year.
A number of schools in Northeast Ohio have also scaled back their return to in-person learning.
In the past 24 hours, the Ohio Department of Health reported 216 new hospitalizations—the highest number ever reported.
What happens in the community is what determines what happens in schools, DeWine said.
“We've done it twice before. We've knocked this thing down early on. And then three months ago when it was starting to spike back up, we knocked it down again with very significant mask-wearing in those parts of the state that we're seeing the most spread. Today, we're seeing spread virtually everywhere," he said.
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