New report shows 34 COVID cases tied to 15 local schools

Danielle Romine, K-6 curriculum director for Troy City Schools, wishes fifth-grader Brayden Clark and kindergartner Raelynn Clark a happy school year after they picked up Chromebook computers for online learning.
Danielle Romine, K-6 curriculum director for Troy City Schools, wishes fifth-grader Brayden Clark and kindergartner Raelynn Clark a happy school year after they picked up Chromebook computers for online learning.

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Numbers reported last week were higher than previous week, according to Ohio Department of Health

Local schools showed a slight increase in COVID-19 cases last week, with 34 new cases reported from Sept. 14-20, compared with 26 cases the week before, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Two school districts accounted for nearly half the local cases in Thursday’s dashboard release, as Springboro reported eight new student cases Sept. 14-20, and Troy reported two new student cases and five new staff cases.

Both Troy and Springboro school officials said the cases were not the result of in-school spread of the virus.

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“Since we’ve been open, every positive case has been from outside, according to our contact tracing, along with the health department,” Springboro schools spokesman Scott Marshall said Thursday. “We have not found any instance where it has come from within the school or been spread within the school.”

Thirteen other schools in the five-county Dayton area reported cases last week (eight public school districts, four private schools and one career tech center), but all of those had only one or two cases.

School COVID cases also rose on a statewide basis last week. There were a total of 394 school-connected cases reported to the Ohio Department of Health from Sept. 14-20, up from 247 the previous week. There were 248 new student cases Sept. 14-20, up from 156 the previous week, and new staff cases rose from 91 to 146.

For the second straight week, Montgomery County schools showed little issue with COVID-19. Montgomery County schools reported zero cases for Sept. 14-20, after reporting only one case (in Brookville) the previous week.

ExploreLast week: 26 COVID cases tied to local schools

The dashboard says cases involving students and staff who are working remotely are not included. About half of Montgomery County’s public school districts are holding classes fully online — more than in other counties. But there are several districts, as well as many private schools, doing in-person classes.

Troy Superintendent Chris Piper said his district is not having staffing problems, although that could be an issue if more staff members test positive. He said about 45 students are quarantining, although half of that total came from a junior high football team.

“There’s no indication whatsoever that any of this is school spread. It’s all brought from the outside in,” Piper said. “There’s no further steps we’re taking. We feel like we have the steps in place as far as cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing and face masks.”

Troy is one of many districts that offered families the choice of fully in-person or fully online school. They announced Thursday afternoon that since the state alert system kept Miami County as Level 2 (orange), the model will continue that way next week.

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Marshall said Springboro has been fortunate that families have done a good job keeping students home when they showed any symptoms. He said most student cases have been reported by families whose kids had already been home for days when they got their positive test results.

He said the district has been able to cover for the few quarantined staff via substitutes or moving other staff around within school buildings.

“There’s no trigger, no threshold, no magic number,” Marshall said, when asked if the school would consider switching to a hybrid or online model. “We want to be remain open and in-person with our teachers teaching our students. And obviously continue with the online model to be respectful of those who need it.”

The state dashboard is the result of an ODH order this month requiring schools to report cases to their county health department within 24 hours of learning of the situation.

Gov. Mike DeWine has said schools' cases likely will reflect what’s going on in the community, so the fact that a school has a COVID-19 case doesn’t necessarily mean they did anything wrong.

NEW COVID-19 CASES, BY SCHOOL, REPORTED SEPT. 14-20

(Not cumulative — does not include previously reported cases)

Warren County

Springboro — 8 students

Carlisle — 2 students

Bishop Fenwick — 2 students

Miami County

Troy — 2 students, 5 staff

Tipp City — 2 students

Upper Valley Career Center — 2 students

St. Patrick (Troy) — 1 student, 1 staff

Piqua — 2 students

Piqua Catholic — 1 staff

Troy Christian — 1 staff

Greene County

Beavercreek — 1 student, 1 staff

Fairborn — 1 student

Xenia — 1 student

Greeneview — 1 staff

Preble County

National Trail — 1 student, 1 staff

Montgomery County

No new cases reported

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