Coronavirus Pandemic: ODH to issue mask order for students in K-12, state focusing on rapid testing

Coronavirus Pandemic: What you need to know Tuesday

Gov. Mike DeWine is giving an update on the coronavirus in Ohio.


The following announcements have been made:

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  • DeWine discussed students going back to school in the fall. The Governor said things are uncertain, because the state hasn’t dealt with anything like coronavirus in the last 100 years. “Schools and parents continue to work to make decisions on how to safely go back to school. I know there is frustration by the uncertainty. We cannot know what the next 3 weeks will bring, let alone the next 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months of school,” DeWine said.
  • Mercer County has the highest number of cases in the state per 100,000 residents with 230 cases per 100,000 since July 21, DeWine said.
  • Doctors are now advising that kids in grades K-12 should wear masks, DeWine said.
  • An additional order in relation to schools will be issued by the state today, DeWine said. The new order will require that students in grades K-12 wear masks at school. “This gives us the best shot to keep Ohio’s kids and educators safe and physically in school,” DeWine said.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted addressed the confusion about sports at schools. He said that non-contact sports have already been allowed to resume both practices and competitions. The state renewed an order on Aug. 1 regarding contact sports, but Husted cautioned that is not the return to play plan for the fall.
  • Husted said the state is still working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association with a plan to return to play for football and other contact sports games. Husted said the new guidance could be issued in the coming days.
  • Husted said the state has had conversations with both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals and are reviewing plans still regarding fans attending those games this fall.
  • DeWine said the state continues to see a coronavirus spread problem because of informal gathering among families and friends. “We all have to remember that just because it is your family or your friends, they could still be carrying the virus and not know it,” DeWine said.
  • DeWine said the state has been conducting an average of 23,000 coronavirus tests. The state is now entering into a multi-state purchasing agreement with Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests.
  • DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton will be leaving her position with the state and returning to a position with the Columbus Foundation. “While it saddens me that she will be leaving my office, she has assured me that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continuing advising us as we move through this pandemic,” DeWine said.
  • Fairborn Fire Chief David Reichert discussed his battle with coronavirus. His wife also has the virus. “We’ve taken this seriously,” Reichert said. “We’ve worked hard to keep it out and away from our friends and affected us pretty good.” The chief said he was off of work for about three weeks while he and his family dealt with the virus.
  • DeWine said the state is starting to see the positivity rate for the virus going down slowly.

Things you should know today, Tuesday:

LATEST STATE DATA: As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 95,106 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 3,570 deaths, and 11,119 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 71,338 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus in the state.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

There have been 1,550,747 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A total of 10,713 health care workers have tested positive which is about 11 percent of the cases.