Coronavirus Update: CCS Postpones Plans, Increased Advisory Level and Hospitalizations, & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, 23,921 cases and 484 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 32,633 cases and 661 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 185,639 cases and 5,083 deaths have been confirmed or are probable, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health, with 152,460 presumed recovered.
Franklin County Returns to Level 3 Advisory — On Thursday, Franklin County, like several others in the state, moved from a Level 2 Ohio Public Health Advisory to a Level 3. The change reflects an increase in the county’s cases per 100,000 residents, from a rate of just over 100 to over 126 cases per.
CCS Postpones Blended Learning Plans for Most Students – Columbus City Schools announced on Tuesday it would postpone the district’s transition to a blended learning model until the end of the semester, January 15, 2021, as a response to increasing COVID-19 cases in Franklin County.
The move comes after plans earlier this month to begin bringing students into schools buildings a couple of days out of the week were annouced.
Beginning next month, the district will still bring in a small portion of students as part of the previously announced blended learning model, including Career and Technical Education students at Columbus Downtown High School, the Fort Hayes Career Center, and special education students with specific complex needs.
“As a leader, I know there are factors that I can and cannot control. I cannot put a stop to this pandemic, but I can help mitigate the spread within our community by making decisions that are in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, their families, and our staff,” said Dr. Talisa Dixon, superintendent and CEO of Columbus City Schools, in a statement to the community. “The decision to remain in remote learning was not an easy one, but I believe it is the right decision at the current time for our community.”
Record-Breaking Hospitalizations — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday that Ohio was seeing a record-breaking amount of hospitalizations as well as an increase in ICU admissions and ventilator use. On Tuesday, 1,221 patients with COVID-19 were currently being treated in hospitals and 216 of those hospitalizations were reported within the last 24 hours.
This increase also coincides with the state’s increased positivity rate, from 2.7% in September to 5.4% now.
“So far, Ohio’s hospitals still have adequate remaining capacity to care for everyone who is sick, but our hospitalizations are already breaking records, and we are not seeing any signs of Ohio’s case numbers slowing down,” said Governor DeWine. “If we don’t buckle down, wear our masks, and take care of each other, I am very concerned that our hospitals will begin to fill up. We pushed this virus down before, and it’s up to all of us to do it again.”
Support for Ohio Businesses — Money is being given back to employers in response to Governor DeWine’s request in August that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Board of Directors approve a second dividend to provide financial support for public and private employers. Dividend checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will be mailed to employers beginning this week, amounting to approximately $1.3 billion in total.
A “wide-ranging” program to address the needs of Ohioans, including funding for rent, mortgages, and water and sewer utility bills, as well as funding for small businesses and nonprofits, is also to be announced in the near future.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.