Order requiring K-12 school coronavirus reporting system goes into effect

An Ohio Department of Health order requiring K-12 schools to create a coronavirus reporting system for staff and parents and to report positive cases to local health departments went into effect Friday.

The goal of the order is to inform parents if their child has been exposed to someone with the virus, while also keeping the public aware of cases in their local school districts, Gov. Mike DeWine said earlier this week.

Schools can use an existing system, like an attendance tracking system or school nurse line, as long as it allows parents and staff to report cases and is checked daily.

Parents and staff will start notifying schools of positive cases on Sept. 8. The order encourages them to report cases to the school within 24 hours of receiving a confirmed diagnosis.

Districts should also select a virus coordinator who will help with reporting case information. The coronavirus coordinator’s name and contact information of the should be given to the local health department.

Once a school is notified of a case, they should inform the parents of all students who shared a classroom space or participated in a school activity during the infectious period of the person who with the virus. Schools should also notify parents with children at the same school building of someone with coronavirus.

Notices can be consolidated, according to the order. The state health department encouraged schools to use online dashboard to share the number of cases and number of students and staff in quarantine, if the information is available.

Districts also are to report any confirmed cases to the local health department with 24 hours of being notified.

Starting Sept. 15, local health departments will relay school cases to the state health department , including new and cumulative cases in each school or school district, every Tuesday.

ODH will then publish weekly and total cases by school or school district with a breakdown of student and staff cases each Thursday at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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