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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Ohio Loosens K-12 Quarantine Restrictions For Students

school hallway
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio students in K-12 schools no longer have to quarantine if they're considered a close contact of another student who's tested positive for COVID-19.

For the first months of the school year, students were sent home for 14 days if they spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of a classmate who tested positive.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is changing that guidance after a study conducted by the state showed no increased risk of spread. 

"As long as students in the classroom were masked, as long as they are masked, compliant and do the best they can with social distance, they do not have an increased risk of catching covid-19 from a nearby student who may have had it," DeWine said. 

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine announces change to K-12 guidance.

Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, says the state's largest teachers union appreciates the decision was based on science and study. DiMauro says the guidance loosens quarantining restrictions but in a limited way that still promotes masks, distance, and cleaning protocols.

"What this does is it reinforces what we have said all along and that is that we want learning to take place, that we support in-person instruction where it can happen safely but we have to make sure that we're following all guidance when it comes to protecting the health and safety of our students, or school employees, and people in our communities," DiMauro said.

Ohio is changing the guidelines from what has been recommended by the CDC.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.