CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — The Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) is recommending that area schools begin the upcoming academic year by operating remotely due to elevated health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The organization also advises that schools discontinue extracurricular activities.
According to a press release, CCBH has been working closely with state leaders, community officials and local K-12 school administrators as they plan and develop strategies for bringing students back to school this year.
The board critically analyzed and considered several health factors, including the average number of daily COVID-19 cases, testing capacity, hospital activity, and school-related settings, before issuing their recommendations.
The press release outlining these recommendations reads in part:
The data clearly indicate that the current level of community transmission of COVID-19 is significant.
Consequently, we need to limit our activities and do all we can to prevent spread by wearing facial coverings, maintaining social distancing, increasing handwashing and high touch surface cleaning, staying home when ill, working remotely when possible and following state public health orders.
With these critical factors in mind, we offer the following recommendations to schools within our health jurisdiction:
Begin the 2020-21 school year operating remotely due to the elevated health risk posed to students, staff and family members.
Discontinue extracurriculars such as sports, band, theater, choir and other activities during the
remote learning period.
CCBH believes this approach will allow both school administrators and public health officials to continue to assess the risk level for community disease transmission on a weekly basis and assist in creating the safest possible environments for students, staff and their families.
The organization will continue monitoring COVID-19 testing positivity rates, Ohio Public Health Advisory System metrics, relevant clinical and epidemiologic indicators, and the tacking of the incidence of new COVID-19 cases and issue changes to their outlined approach if needed.