Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he hopes to have every student back in the classroom by March 1

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 10:55:35-05

CLEVELAND — During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on the “State of the Union,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday said he hopes to have every student back in the classroom for in-person learning by spring.

“We want to get our kids back to school. We’ve also prioritized our kids and we hope by March 1 to have every kid back in school in the state of Ohio,” DeWine said.

As of Sunday, DeWine said about 160,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. Among those vaccinated include healthcare workers, first responders and residents and workers in nursing homes.

On Sunday, News 5 spoke to several educators who said they want to be back in the classroom with their students, but ask at what cost.

“The fact that we are doing it simply as our state and not with national or international CDC guidelines makes me quite concerned,” said Shari Obrenski of the Cleveland Teachers Union.

Last week, DeWine said the state would be moving away from in-person classroom quarantine policies for those exposed the virus in the classroom.

“The quicker that we can get vaccinated and have every adult in the building vaccinated to make it safe, the quicker we can get our kids back in the building,” said Sean Belveal of the Northeast Ohio College Preparatory High School.

In a tweet on Jan. 1, President Trump blamed states for a slow vaccine rollout.

When asked if he agrees with Trump’s opinion that states are to blame for a slow vaccination rate, DeWine didn’t directly disagree or agree but said everyone has to have a sense of urgency of getting the vaccines out to the public.

“They [vaccines] are lifesavers. Anytime you have the vaccine sitting on a shelf, we have a problem,” DeWine said. "We have a moral imperative to move as quickly as we can. What I’ve told the people of Ohio and what I’ve told my team is: look, we can’t control how much vaccine is coming into Ohio every week but we have an obligation to get that vaccine out — to get it into arms just as quick as we can.”

RELATED:Educators voice concerns after DeWine changes state's quarantine policies for students, staff