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Summit County Public Health recommends club sports stop, schools go remote after COVID-19 surge

Summit County Public Health
Posted at 2:00 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 14:00:54-05

AKRON, Ohio — Summit County Public Health is recommending all club sports stop and asking schools to consider changing their learning model to a more remote option, among other recommendations for residents, after the county was elevated to Level 4 on the state’s Public Health Advisory System due to severe COVID-19 exposure and spread.

RELATED: 5 more Northeast Ohio counties now at purple Level 4, highest on Public Health Advisory System

In a letter sent to school administrators, staff, parents and students in Summit County, the health department strongly recommended that all youth, collegiate, amateur and club sports competitions stop, including scrimmages and close contact drills. Skills training and conditioning with proper precautions can continue.

The letter asks school administrators to consider dropping their “learning modality” by one level for older students to minimize risk. SCPH has three preferred learning model options: one that is fully remote, a model that is a hybrid of remote and in-person learning, and a fully in-person learning option.

SCPH is also making the following recommendations to all residents:

  • Limit your activity to one necessary activity per day. An activity is defined as
  • school or work. All other activities should cease.
  • Minimize all non-essential travel.
  • Shop online or utilize curb-side pickup for groceries and household items.
  • Utilize take-out or curb-side services at restaurants.
  • Decrease in-person interactions outside of the household.
  • Limit attending gatherings of any size.
  • Take care of each other. Be respectful and wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Stay home if you are sick.

SCPH stated their priorities are keeping hospital systems from becoming overwhelmed and keeping children in school.

“School districts need to remain nimble and to modify strategies on a real time basis that assures the safety of everyone,” the letter states. “By following these recommendations, we not only protect the students, but we protect the school staff and student’s family members as well. We appreciate your willingness to review our considerations for the safety of all.”

As of last Thursday, Summit County met all six of the seven indicators the state uses to determine a county's level on the Public Health Advisory System, including 712 new cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks; an increasing number of emergency visits, outpatient visits and hospital admissions; and increasing ICU bed occupancy by COVID-19 patients. See more data from the Ohio Department of Health here.