The number of positive COVID tests reported from Richland County school districts and buildings remained at a high level when numbers were announced on Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health.
Led by a reported 118 student cases at Mansfield City Schools, there were a total of 267 cases among students and staff. This number is a slight reduction from the 279 positive tests included in the total two weeks ago.
There were 15 districts or buildings included in the report, up 2 from the September 9 report. Those included:
Foundation Academy 4 students
GOAL Digital 1 student, 1 staff
IMAC 1 student
Lexington 11 students, 1 staff
Madison 44 students, 7 staff
Mansfield Christian 2 students, 1 staff
Mansfield City 118 students, 11 staff
Mansfield Adventist 2 students
Ontario 7 students, 1 staff
Pioneer 18 students, 2 staff
Plymouth-Shiloh 15 students, 4 staff
Shelby 8 students, 3 staff
St. Mary 1 student, 1 staff
St. Peter’s 1 student
School of Academic Arts 1 student, 1 staff
This totals 234 students and 33 staff.
Also on Thursday, Governor DeWine discussed two matters centering on COVID and schools.
Governor DeWine emphasized that keeping kids in school, in-person, five days a week, remains a priority. We know that the best way to do that is to get students vaccinated. In addition to protecting kids from the severe effects of the virus, students who are vaccinated, do not have to quarantine if exposed, which means they won’t miss out on school.
To encourage eligible kids to get vaccinated, Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program, which will be open to Ohioans aged 12 to 25 years old, and will be similar to the scholarship portion of the successful Vax-a-Million program. Prizes will include 50 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education. Prizes will be announced Monday through Friday beginning the week of October 11th. More details will be announced, including how to register, in the coming days.
Governor DeWine also made a public plea, after hearing from school districts across the state about the shortage of bus drivers. He asked any Ohioan with a CDL license that also has a bus driver certification, who are not employed, to contact their local school district, to help drive school busses, temporarily.
He also spoke with Attorney General Dave Yost who agreed that, moving forward, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation would prioritize required background checks for school bus drivers, educators, nurses, and other health care professionals.