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Coronavirus In Ohio: Schools Prepared To Alert Parents Of COVID-19 Cases

A stop sign on a school bus.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that schools will be required to notify parents and local health departments of any COVID-19 cases among students or staff.

Most administrators across the state find the order to be “reasonable,” Kevin Miller, director of government relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, told ideastream Friday.

“My bet would be that many school districts, if not most, all of the school districts already had plans in place and were already starting to implement them as far as keeping the parents informed,” Miller said. 

Most Ohio schools already have communication mechanisms in place to notify parents of things like snow days, Miller adds, so adding coronavirus alerts to email or text blasts shouldn’t be a problem.

That’s true of Nordonia Hills City School District, where superintendent Joe Clark said he’d already been planning to send e-mails to parents and staff in the event someone at the school is diagnosed with the coronavirus. 

“This is something that we had planned on doing anyway so it’s really, for us, kind of common sense,” he said. “Parents want to know, families want to know and it makes it a lot easier to be proactive with the communication than to just let the rumor mill spread on social media.” 

In fact, Clark sent his first email to employees Friday, regarding a staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Clark is also president of the Akron Area School Superintendents’ Association, where he said the question of how to notify parents has been a hot topic lately. Most superintendents, he said, are prepared to notify parents and local health departments – but also want to maintain people’s privacy.

Clark also said he is looking forward to hearing more details from the governor on the reporting requirements.