Coronavirus Update: CCS Phase-In, Nursing Home Visitation & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 21,354 cases and 464 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 27,538 cases and 638 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 152,907 cases and 4,783 deaths have been confirmed or are probable, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health, with 131,708 presumed recovered.
CCS Plans Phased-In Return to Classrooms
Columbus City Schools has finalized plans for blended in-person learning to begin for some students as soon as Monday, Oct. 19, with a phased-in approach.
Columbus City Schools worked with Columbus Public Health in a plan for students to return to school buildings next month, as well as the continued implementation of district-wide COVID-19 safety protocols. All CCS teachers will return by October 14 for classroom preparation and professional development in COVID-19 safety training.
“All of us have been looking forward to the day when our students and our employees could safely return to the classroom as part of our blended learning model,” said CCS Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon in a press release. “I’m pleased to announce the dates for teachers and staff to return to our buildings to prepare for our students’ phased-in arrival based on grade level. I cannot wait to see our students’ faces – with masks on, of course – and to see them engaged in their classroom setting once again.”
Starting Oct. 19, the phase-in to school buildings will be based on grade level. The blended learning plan calls for students to attend in-person classes two days a week and attend remote classes three days a week.
The start dates based on grade level are:
- Pre-K – 3rd Grade: October 19
- 4th – 5th Grade: October 26
- 6th – 8th Grade: November 2
Pre-K through 3rd-grade students with special needs will return to the classroom on Oct. 19, with the remaining students with special needs across all grade levels returning on Oct. 26.
Career and Technical Education students at Columbus Downtown High School and the Fort Hayes Career Center will return on Oct. 19.
All other CCS high school students will continue with completely remote learning after the first quarter at the end of October.
Central office staff, school-based staff, and some teachers will be phased into returning to school buildings in early October to accommodate building preparation and student assessments.
“I am appreciative of the ongoing discussions we are having with our employee-partners to help us finalize the plans for our return to in-person learning,” Superintendent Dixon said. “The leadership of our unions and associations have been valuable partners in our remote learning currently underway. I look forward to their continued partnership in finalizing our district’s plan to return to the classroom.”
Beginning the week of Oct. 5, CCS will provide regular updates on the blended learning plan — including schedules, health, and safety protocols, FAQs, and more.
University Student COVID Screenings — Under the State of Ohio’s ResponsibleRestart guidelines, it is now recommended that higher education institutions regularly test a sample population of asymptomatic students, in order to understand virus spread on campuses.
Governor Mike DeWine said the expectation is Ohio colleges and universities will screen at least 3% of their students on a regular basis.
Several schools are already doing this, like The Ohio State University, which began testing over the summer.
Nursing Home Visitation — Governor DeWine also announced last week that he would be signing two health orders regarding visitation at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and intermediate care facilities. Indoor visits will be allowed under the new orders, as long as safety standards outlined in the forthcoming order are met.
Intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities are already allowed to resume visitation, while nursing homes and assisted living facilities can begin indoor visitation on Monday, Oct. 12.
Per-Calendar-Day Game Limit Removed — Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the one-game-per-calendar-day limit on sports competitions has been removed from the current sports order. The move is in response to events that have gone on without any perceived increase in spread.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.