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Ohio Department Of Health Director Defends Shifting Rapid Tests From Communities To Schools

 Boxes of BinaxNow home COVID-19 tests made by Abbott are shown for sale Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, at a CVS store in Lakewood, Wash., south of Seattle.
Ted S. Warren
/
AP
Boxes of BinaxNow home COVID-19 tests made by Abbott are shown for sale Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, at a CVS store in Lakewood, Wash., south of Seattle.

The Ohio Department of Health said it will now send rapid at-home COVID tests to K-12 schools and colleges instead of libraries and health departments for the time being. But the Ohio Department of Education reports less than half of Ohio’s schools are currently requiring all of their students to wear masks. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles asked state health leaders whether schools would be better served by receiving high-quality masks.

Ohio Dept of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state has been supplying schools with masks and recommends students and staff be required to use them. He also said it’s worth it to pull the at-home tests from the community to give to schools.

“Layered strategies are the best strategy. You know a mask is not perfect. A test is often not perfect. But when you apply the tools that we have together, you are often able to achieve a more substantial result than if we were doing it in isolation.”

Vanderhoff said at-home tests can be purchased in pharmacies, or people can get tested at mass testing sites statewide.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.
Statehouse News Bureau