Governor: spiking virus cases endanger in-person learning

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's spiking coronavirus cases could endanger in-person learning for schoolchildren, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine warned Tuesday in his latest effort to encourage people to take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

At least 16 school districts have scaled back to either hybrid concepts — in-person and remote learning — or fully remote models because of high rates of spread in the community, DeWine said. At least 50 districts are now fully on-line, with nearly 300,000 students unable to attend classes in-person, the governor said.

Less than two hours after DeWine's warning, Ohio’s largest district, Columbus City Schools, announced it would stick with remote learning until at least mid-January, postponing most of its plans to start bringing students back to school in person in a blended learning model.

DeWine said all Ohioans should be concerned so many children are learning remotely.

“While many kids can do well under these circumstances, many cannot,” the governor said. “Some of our poorest children who thrive in an in-person learning environment do not do nearly as well online.”

The Ohio Department of Health reported 2,015 probable and confirmed cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, another in a series of tallies above 2,000 including the record high 2,178 cases reported Oct. 15. Ohio has reported nearly 186,000 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases including 5,083 deaths.

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