DeWine urges Youngstown schools to open school soon

Gov. Mike DeWine is urging school districts — specifically mentioning Youngstown — to return to at least partial in-person classes by March 1.

All but one K-12 school district in the state agreed to in-person instruction, at least in part, by March 1 in exchange for their adult staff getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s about the kids and we continue to hear throughout this (pandemic), particularly in our urban centers, where kids have been out for a year, the need to get back into school,” DeWine said Tuesday.

He specifically said the Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland school districts along with a Cincinnati high school have not committed to the March 1 deadline.

“I’d encourage these schools to get back in session,” DeWine said.

Every school district in the state signed up to have staff vaccinated for COVID-19, except Jefferson Township Local School District in Montgomery County, in exchange for agreeing to reopen to in-person learning.

DeWine said he’d be satisfied with some schools going to in-person instruction once a week to start as long as they start March 1.

There are 31 school districts in the state that are fully remote, DeWine said.

“We have a number of kids who are not doing well with remote learning,” he said.

The state will not stop giving COVID-19 inoculations to K-12 staff if the school districts don’t reopen by March 1.

Because of “severe weather across Ohio and the country,” DeWine said vaccine shipments “coming to providers directly from Pfizer and Moderna could be delayed one to two days.”

The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,324,206 people, 11.33 percent of the state’s population, had received at least the first of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, including 16,925 in the prior 24 hours.

In Mahoning County, 13.45 percent of the population had received at least the first dose with 11.23 percent of Trumbull County’s population (22,238 people) and 11.62 percent of Columbiana County’s population (11,839 people) had received it, according to the ODH. Also, 4.23 percent of the state’s population had received both doses as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.

COVID-19 by the numbers

The number of cases, changes in cases and deaths in counties in the region and statewide as of Tuesday:

County Cases Change since Change since Deaths

yesterday last week

Trumbull 13,910 +38 +290 441

Mahoning 18,947 +51 +368 525

Columbiana 7,932 +21 +146 175

Ohio 943,291 +2,026 +17,941 16,453

SOURCE: Ohio Department of Health


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