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Active cases down to two as school starts

Students in the Switzerland of Ohio School District (SOLSD) began the school year as active COVID-19 cases decreased in Monroe County.

According to information provided by the Monroe County Health Department, the county is down to two active cases as of Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The county only had one new confirmed case during the week of Sept. 2-8, while four active cases were designated as recovered.

The new confirmed case gives Monroe County 105 total confirmed and probable cases.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Monroe County Health Department is encouraged to see students return to classrooms for the first time since March.

According to a press release from the Monroe County Health Department, Monroe County Health Commissioner Linda Dick worked closely with SOLSD administration, including Superintendent Rob Caldwell and each school principal “to ensure the health and safety of students, educators and staff for the reopening of school buildings.”

Steps taken include putting in place measures to assess student health and requiring the practicing of physical distancing, sanitization of surfaces and the wearing of masks.

The Ohio Department of Health issued an order Thursday, Sept. 3, that encouraged families and required schools and local health departments to report information about positive COVID-19 cases.

“The goals of the order are to provide communities with information to minimize the further transmission of COVID-19 and to allow local health officials to begin timely contact tracing,” the press release reads. “Parents (and) guardians are being asked to report to their schools new positive COVID-19 cases for their children enrolled in school, from preschool-aged through grade 12, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. Schools must notify affected students (and) parents and their local health departments within 24 hours of learning of student or staff cases.”

The Monroe County Health Department and other local health departments across the state will be required to report the number of newly reported and cumulative cases to the Ohio Department of Health beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15, and every Tuesday.

The Ohio Department of Health will publish this data by school or school district, including a breakdown by students and staff each Thursday on its website, coronavirus.