COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s continued progress in muzzling the Delta variant of COVID-19 has stalled for now, and those trends are evident in common cases and infections reported by schools.
Ohio K-12 schools reported on Thursday: 5.348 new cases among students and staff for the week ending Sunday, November 7. That’s the second consecutive week-over-week increase — after a slight increase last week — and brings the school year total 79,322.
Weekly cases had fallen since NBC4 began tracking in mid-September:
- September 17: +10.682
- September 24: +9,827
- September 31: +7,564
- October 7: +7.405
- October 14: +6,289
- October 21: +5,116
- Oct 28: +4.660
- Nov 4: +4.696
- November 11: +5.348
Schools report cases among students and staff to ODH on Tuesday, showing the week ending the previous Sunday. ODH publishes numbers on Thursdays at 2 p.m.
ODH reports “new” and “cumulative” cases. Cases don’t move to “cumulative” until the person is no longer COVID positive. NBC4’s count of new cases each week reflects the change in “cumulative” cases. More information
A similar trend of stagnant progress on the Delta variant is seen in the overall COVID-19 cases in Ohio. After six consecutive weeks of decline, cases reported Monday through Sunday by the Ohio Department of Health rose by more than 3,000 last week.
ODH reported nearly 5,000 new cases for the day on Thursday, and this week is on track to be higher than last week.
An analysis from Johns Hopkins University this week found that nationwide cases have remained at a high level, with just over 70,000 per week since late October. The Delta variant wave peaked at more than 172,000 cases over a seven-day period in mid-September, according to the analysis, but their low in the summer was less than 12,000.
As for the cases reported by schools in Ohio, the vast majority – 67,418 (85%) – are college students. 11,904 (15%) are employees, including teachers, administrators, coaches and support staff. Last school year, students were down about 2 in 3 and staff 1 in 3.
1,483 (54%) of the 2,767 schools, districts, private schools, vocational schools, kindergartens and other non-university institutions ODH attends reported a case this school year. That is 21 schools more than last week.
Cincinnati Public Schools, a district of more than 34,000 students, leads the state with 1,975 cases, ahead of Columbus City Schools with 1,075 cases. Columbus is one of Franklin County’s top nine counties.
The median number of cases among schools with at least one infection is 17 cases, while the median number for school districts is 83 cases.
According to data from the Ohio Department of Education, 99.6% of Ohio public school students attend school five days a week. However, 54.4% of students are in a neighborhood where masks are mandatory for all or some students, down from 60% a week earlier.
The other 45.6% of Ohio public school students learn where masks are optional.
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