The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is easing requirements for COVID-19 case reporting by K-12 schools. As of March 10, K-12 schools are no longer required to:
- Maintain a COVID-19 reporting system for parents to report positive COVID-19 cases.
- Have a designated COVID-19 coordinator for the district.
- Notify parents of positive COVID-19 cases among staff, students, or coaches.
- Report positive cases of COVID-19 to their local health department unless the school tests a student for COVID-19 and the result is positive.
It’s important to note that quarantine and isolation measures, as outlined in the Mask to Stay, Test to Play protocol for K-12 schools, will remain in effect. These measures allow a student exposed to COVID-19, but not symptomatic or COVID-19 positive, to remain in school while appropriately and consistently wearing a mask.
According to ODH, the new changes bring Ohio’s reporting system more in line with the CDC, which recently introduced new benchmarks for assessing community risk, shifting away from using cases as the sole measure of risk. The new COVID-19 Community Levels assess data related to the proportion of hospital capacity devoted to caring for COVID-19 patients, the number of new patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital in the past week, and the number of new COVID-19 cases in a given county in the past week.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, K-12 schools are encouraged to continue to work closely with local health departments to monitor community spread.