K-12 distance learning to continue until the end of the school year
- Published: April 20, 2020
Ohio’s K-12 schools will remain closed and teaching continue remotely until the end of the school year, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday, April 20.
DeWine said that he made the decision after considering the challenge of “continuity” after schools will have been closed for more than a month. In addition, the coronavirus remains “dangerous” even after Ohio “flattened the curve” of infections, DeWine said.
“Not only do we have to be concerned about the risks to students, but also teachers, and ultimately, the risks to the community,” he said.
DeWine said the state is not in the position to make a decision on whether schools will reopen in the fall of 2020. However, he discussed the possibility of a “blended” approach that includes both distance learning and in-person learning. The strategies may vary district by district, DeWine added.
In other news —
Ohio’s COVID-19 cases increased by 1,317 over the preceding 24 hours, to 12,919 confirmed and probable cases. That was the second-highest daily increase, with the highest coming on Sunday, April 19, at 1,380 cases. However, hospitalizations only rose by 88, and ICU admissions by 33, down from their peak daily increases more than a week ago. Deaths, meanwhile, increased by 38 to 509. That was the second highest daily increase in fatalities. The highest, of 50 deaths, occurred on April 14.
Addressing the uptick in confirmed and probable cases in recent days, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said that was due to recent increased testing in congregate settings, specifically in several Ohio prisons. The state plans to increase testing in long-term care facilities, Acton added.
Looking ahead, Acton said state health officials expect a “series of bumps” in infection rates rather than a second peak. The state is focused on how it can respond to “hot spots” of infection by using testing and contract tracing. Acton said Ohio must “move slowly to go fast,” so that the state doesn’t have to re-impose restrictions after they’ve been lifted due to a spike in cases.