Public Health recommends all Montgomery County schools start year with remote learning, discontinue football, band

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — (UPDATE @ 6:23 p.m.) New recommendations issued by Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County Friday urges districts in the county to begin the school year with remote learning and discontinue high-risk extra curricular activities.

“This recommendation is intended to best protect the health and safety of students, staff, families and the community,” Public Health said in the guidance. “We recommend this because these are the two most effective strategies for limiting spread of the virus.”

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The high-risk extra curricular activities the health department is urging districts to discontinue for Fall 2020 include; football, soccer, field hockey, band, choir and theater.

Friday evening, Dayton Public Schools officials announced that DPS will follow the public health recommendation and suspend all extracurricular activities, including football, soccer and band, until it is safe for these activities to resume. 

“DPS understands that many students, families and staff will be disappointed by this news, but it is our hope that activities will be able to resume when it is safe to do so. As always, the safety of students and staff is the district’s top priority,” district officials said in a social media post via Facebook. 

The health department supports the decision with data that Montgomery County has the fifth highest number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and has the highest percentage of cases in the 0-19 age group compared to Ohio and the other five largest counties.

Of Montgomery County cases, 11.7 percent involve people between the ages of birth and 19.

The ultimate decision on returning to school is with the districts themselves.

Public Health says it will continue to track COVID-19 epidemiology data and will provide weekly updates to our K-12 schools to support informed decision-making on appropriate modes of teaching and learning.