ODH releases updated COVID-19 recommendations for upcoming school year

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 13:02:44-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health has released its updated COVID-19 recommendations for K-12 schools for the upcoming school year—a day after the state's chief medical officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff held a briefing to push for in-person schooling and say the department would strongly recommend, not mandate, those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask.

“While there are no mandates associated with this guidance, we believe that the recommendations we are issuing are essential to the health of Ohio’s youth and the success of the coming school year. The safety of Ohio’s children is paramount, and the preventive measures that schools take will help protect Ohio’s students," Vanderhoff said.

Wear a mask and get vaccinated
ODH strongly recommends those who are unvaccinated, such as students 12 and under who cannot get a vaccine, should wear a mask.

ODH will follow the CDC’s guidance by requiring masks to be worn on all public transportation, including school buses. This requirement is regardless of vaccination status.

Improving ventilation
Schools in Ohio are encouraged to increase ventilation within classrooms and other common spaces. There is one-time federal funding available to help schools upgrade their air quality systems.

Maximizing distance
The CDC says schools should maintain at least three feet of physical space between students within classrooms.

Read the full list of recommendations here.

RELATED: ODH recommends vaccines for eligible and masking for unvaccinated; no mandates or universal masking