“As we have learned over the past two years, things are changing rapidly with COVID-19.”
– Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Children’s Hospital Association
Today, the Ohio Hospital Association also distributed a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association to superintendents, administrators and school board members in Ohio encouraging them to implement a requirement to masking when students return from vacation.
Dear principals, administrators and school board members:
Each of you has done an outstanding job in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, working hard every day to keep your students safe and in school. We recognize the importance of in-person learning for the cognitive, social and emotional development of our children, and share your belief that the best place for children is in school, full-time, in the classroom to learn with their peers.
As we have learned over the past two years, things are changing rapidly with COVID-19. Today we are faced with a new variant, Omicron, which is more contagious than previous variants. This variant is spreading rapidly in Ohio and is expected to become the dominant variant in the coming weeks. In other parts of the country, where Omicron has already spread rapidly, pediatric hospitalizations have increased. In and around New York, pediatric hospitalizations jumped 395% in December.
With adult hospitalizations already approaching an all-time high and the positivity rate of those tested for COVID-19 approaching 25%, we remind all Ohioans of the gravity of our current situation.
The best protection against developing serious illness from COVID-19, for both school-aged children and adults, remains vaccination. As younger and school-aged Ohios continue to get vaccinated, it’s critical that we continue to follow protocols to protect students, teachers, staff and their families at home. To those of you who continue to need masks at school – thank you. This simple step is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the virus. To those who do not currently have a mask requirement, we respectfully ask that you consider one when your students return after the holidays. Ohio health experts have recommended that schools in Ohio have masking policies until more students are vaccinated, and that remains their recommendation as students return to school. next week. It’s even more urgent now due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
We know that the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread when you cough, sneeze, talk or sing. We know masks work and are effective in slowing the spread of this virus. The best way to keep children in school is to slow the spread of the virus. The best ways to slow the spread of the virus are to get vaccinated and wear a mask.
Even students who are asymptomatic or have relatively mild symptoms have the ability to transmit the virus to others. Their classmates could then carry the virus home, passing it on to siblings, parents and grandparents. If these family members are not vaccinated, they are at risk of serious illness and hospitalization, while vaccinated family members may remain convinced that their risk of serious illness is low.
Our healthcare system is already taxed, with one in four patients in hospital with COVID-19. We fight hard to save their lives, while treating other Ohioans who need our help, like children with broken bones, people with strokes, or those in need of medical care. emergency after a car accident. We cannot do this alone. With Omicron spreading rapidly across Ohio, we need everyone’s help to get through the weeks ahead. Help us by requiring students to wear masks when they return to school.
Meanwhile from December 19 in Loveland…