Local school COVID cases at near peak level for second week

Credit: Eileen McClory

Caption

Credit: Eileen McClory

On a statewide level, school COVID cases rose by more than 20%

New student COVID-19 cases reported by Dayton-area K-12 schools were slightly lower than the previous week, bucking the state trend, but they were still more than double last school year’s peak, according to Ohio Department of Health data released Thursday.

During the week of Sept. 6-12, local schools reported 911 students newly diagnosed with COVID, down from 1,011 the previous week. The weekly total never surpassed 400 new student cases last school year.

ExploreSee updated local data on hospitalizations, vaccination rates

New school employee COVID cases were flat locally, with 120 reported last week, compared to 119 the previous week.

Statewide, new cases were up, both for students (8,524, up from 6,920 the previous week), and for school staff (1,289, up from 1,072), according to ODH.

Children at Cline Elementary School in Centerville load into buses after the first day of school Wednesday August 18, 2021. All of the kids were wearing masks. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
Caption
Children at Cline Elementary School in Centerville load into buses after the first day of school Wednesday August 18, 2021. All of the kids were wearing masks. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

School-by-school (see chart below)

The Xenia school district had the highest number of new student COVID cases locally for the second week in a row, with 62 reported to ODH, on the heels of 67 the previous week.

Kristy Creel, the district’s coordinator of communications, said the majority of cases reported in the district are occurring outside of school, but still have to be reported to the state.

“This continues to be a serious regional and statewide problem that is an issue for every district, and may be indicative of vaccine hesitancy,” Creel said. “We will continue to layer mitigation strategies, which include a mask requirement for K-12 students, and will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.”

ExploreCity of Dayton restarts indoor mask mandate

The three local school districts with the highest number of new COVID cases last week were all in Greene County — Xenia (62), Fairborn (55) and Beavercreek (54). Among Ohio’s 607 school districts, those three all ranked among the top 20 for most new student cases last week.

Individual private and charter schools have smaller enrollments than most school districts, so they will rarely have as many cases. Among those schools, DECA Prep (19), Dayton Christian (12), St. Albert Kettering (11), Middletown Christian (11) and Incarnation Centerville (10) reported the most new student COVID cases last week.

Data errors?

There continue to be questions of whether the Ohio Department of Health’s weekly data release correctly reflects the actual number of school COVID cases.

For example, ODH has listed the Tri-County North school district in Preble County with no new student COVID cases each of the past two weeks. ODH lists the district with a cumulative total of 13 student COVID cases this school year. But on Tri-County North’s own web site Thursday, the district lists 48 past (recovered) student cases for the year, plus 13 active student COVID cases.

ExplorePrevious: State's school COVID data called into question

Also, last Thursday, ODH listed Ohio’s cumulative number of student COVID cases this school year at 14,551. This week’s number of new student cases was listed as 8,524, which should put the new total at 23,075. But ODH reported the new total at 21,816 on Thursday.

The number of new and cumulative staff COVID cases also did not add up.

Schools are required to report their COVID cases to their local/county health department, which then reports to ODH.

County-by-county

By county, Greene, Miami and northern Warren County all saw the total number of new student COVID cases in their schools rise slightly from the previous week. Montgomery County schools were responsible for the area’s decline in new student cases, as their total decreased from 497 to 366.

In the previous week, five Montgomery County school districts had reported 45-65 new student cases each (Northmont, Kettering, Centerville, Miamisburg and Dayton). In the new data released Thursday, Centerville schools had the highest number of new student cases in the county, at only 41.

Mask policies

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine and several children’s hospital officials urged all Ohio schools to adopt mask mandates to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and limit the number of students who would have to be quarantined out of school for 10 days.

The vast majority of Montgomery and Greene county schools currently have mask mandates. But masks are still “recommended but optional” in a majority of Miami County districts, as well as Brookville, Carlisle and some private schools.

New COVID cases, Sept. 6-12
School or DistrictStudent casesStaff cases
Xenia 6211
Fairborn 557
Beavercreek 549
Centerville 414
Springboro 411
Lebanon 390
Kettering 384
Dayton 3410
Miamisburg 348
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek 343
Northmont 334
Troy 331
Tecumseh 251
Piqua 233
Huber Heights 214
Tipp City211
Northridge 204
DECA PREP190
Bethel 181
Carlisle 163
Greene County Vocational151
Miami Valley Career Tech150
Franklin 143
Greeneview 141
Waynesville141
Trotwood-Madison 133
Milton-Union 132
Dayton Christian121
St Albert The Great121
Middletown Christian111
Incarnation101
National Trail 90
Vandalia-Butler 73
St Charles Borromeo70
Covington 51
Horizon Science Academy51
Greenon 50
Cedar Cliff 50
Carroll50
Chaminade Julienne50
Spring Valley Academy40
West Carrollton 32
Upper Valley Career Center31
Piqua Catholic Elementary31
Newton 30
Troy Christian High School30
Ascension30
Gem City Career Prep HS30
Miami East 22
Twin Valley22
Brookville 21
Salem Christian Academy21
Mad River 21
Oakwood 20
Mother Brunner Catholic20
St Helen20
Valley View 14
New Lebanon11
Archbishop Alter11
St Brigid10
Trotwood Prep & Fitness10
St Christopher10
St Peter10
Gloria Dei Montessori10
Jefferson Township 10
St Anthony10
City Day Community School10
Warren County Vocational10
Bishop Fenwick10
Legacy Christian Academy01
Greene County ESC01
Miami County ESC01
Dayton Regional STEM School01
SOURCE: Ohio Department of Health

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