Ben Asks a Question: How will Ohio keep teachers safe as classrooms reopen?

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 16:42:34-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday new guidance will be released later this week as the state continues to loosen restrictions imposed earlier this year to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeWine made the announcement during his COVID-19 press briefing, saying the upcoming guidelines will include an announcement regarding the reopening of schools in the state.

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at

After this announcement, I asked DeWine a question sent in by WCPO viewer Asiah Berry. Berry is a high school English teacher concerned about schools reopening as much of the rhetoric coming from the state has focused on the safety of students, but not teachers.

I asked DeWine on Monday if the state is prioritizing teachers’ health as much as students’. DeWine gave a firm "yes," while acknowledging the increased risk of death from COVID-19 many teachers have compared to students.

“If I was a superintendent I certainly would worry about anybody, a student or an adult who had a medical problem [or] compromised medical situation," DeWine said. I would worry about an adult, the older the adult gets the more dangerous this virus is. So, you know, every school has people that we should worry about. I mean, we’re going to worry about the kids, we’re going to worry about everybody. But absolutely, this has been one of the major things that we’ve looked at.”

DeWine also said that the concern extends beyond schools to daycare facilities.

“When we talk about childcare, you know, we worry a lot and try to be careful to protect those who are working there, because you have those, some people who are working there, just like in a school or any place else, who may have vulnerabilities. Medical vulnerabilities. Might be of an age that their risk factor is significantly up. So we worry about the kids, but we also worry about the adults," he said.

DeWine is next scheduled to address the public on Thursday.