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DeWine issues order for schools to publicly report virus cases

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Posted at 1:57 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 16:03:58-04

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an order that will require schools to report positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff to local health authorities.

The order requires schools to implement a reporting mechanism for parents to tell the school if their child has tested positive for the virus. Schools will then be required to update their local health department and make details about the case publicly available without revealing the identity of the student. DeWine said the school must also inform parents in writing. When asked if the reporting system would lead to a quarantine for the infected student's classmates, DeWine said the solutions will be up to the schools and that the system is designed to inform parents.

"Information in the hands of parents is always good. They are the ones who should know everything," he said.

DeWine also announced Clermont County was downgraded from "red" to "orange" on the state's heat map which indicates counties with high levels of positive COVID-19 cases. Cases overall in the state went up with 1,244 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the state's total to 118,828.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced a minor adjustment to athletic contest requirements for Ohio schools. Schools previously could not compete against more than one team in a 24-hour period. Schools now are only limited to one calendar day, allowing teams to compete against another team during a Friday night contest and then against a different team the following morning. Husted also clarified that multiple teams can face off in one contest, like a cross-country meet or golf tournament, but that teams can not play multiple games against multiple teams in one day.

In an update on Ohio unemployment benefits, the state will receive $717 million in the form of a FEMA grant that gives an additional $300 each week to those receiving unemployment. According to Husted, the state should start to apply the additional payments later in September.