Week in Review > Week in Review 01-07-2022

Posted by on January 07th, 2022

CORONAVIRUS

ODH reported 19,442 new cases — the sixth-highest figure — along with 453 new hospitalizations and 43 ICU admissions. The month has already seen more than 115,000 cases reported. The 21-day averages are now 14,901 cases, 330 hospitalizations and 31 ICU admissions. There has been a total of 2.13 million cases in the state, 98,730 hospitalizations, 11,956 ICU admissions and 29,674 deaths, according to ODH.

The following COVID-19 developments occurred over the last couple of weeks:

– On the federal side, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 at home. Called Paxlovid and made by Pfizer, the drug is administered as three tablets taken together orally twice daily for five days, for a total of 30 tablets. It was authorized to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in those 12 years of age or older. An estimated 250,000 doses will be available from the Biden administration in January.

– The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) halved the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if a person is asymptomatic. The federal agency said the change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the one to two days prior to the onset of symptoms and the two to three days after.

– Gov. Mike DeWine late Monday announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Ohio National Guard (ONG), and the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) will expand COVID-19 testing locations in nine Ohio cities, including several new locations. The additional testing locations will be mobilized with support from Ohio National Guard personnel. The locations are intended to divert testing traffic from hospital emergency rooms.

– U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 before his planned return to Washington, D.C. He is fully vaccinated and received a booster shot, and said he was asymptomatic.

EDUCATION

Ohio’s EdChoice program which covers private school tuition violates the state’s constitutional duty to provide a common education system and leads to racial segregation, local school district leaders said Tuesday in announcing a lawsuit meant to end the program. Local leaders and the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, which was involved in the landmark¬†DeRolph¬†litigation on school funding, have worked for more than a year to plan the lawsuit and build a coalition to support it. William Phillis, head of the equity and adequacy group, said 200 districts belong to the Vouchers Hurt Ohio group and 100 are supporting the lawsuit. The litigation itself, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, lists as plaintiffs Columbus City Schools, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools, Richmond Heights Local Schools, Lima City Schools, Barberton City Schools, the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, and Cleveland Heights students Malcolm McPherson and Fergus Donnelly, along with their parents. The lawsuit focuses on two sections of the Ohio Constitution. The first, Article VI, Section 2, obligates the General Assembly to “secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state” and also states that “no religious sect, or sects, shall ever have any exclusive right to, or control of, any part of the school funds of this state.” The second, Article I, Section 2, establishes Ohioans’ rights to equal protection. Judge Jaiza Page of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, a former Columbus City Council member halfway through her first term on the bench, will preside in the high-profile lawsuit.

Wendy Grove, director in the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), reported that preschool and kindergarten enrollment in Ohio has nearly reached pre-pandemic figures. Grove told the State Board of Education’s (SBOE) Integrated Student Supports Committee that fall preschool enrollment was at 95 percent of pre-pandemic numbers and kindergarten enrollment was at 99 percent of pre-pandemic numbers.

GOVERNOR

Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday, Dec. 30 signed HB169 (Cutrona-Swearingen), legislation distributing more than $4 billion for schools, child care, health care, law enforcement, employment and other areas from three federal COVID relief measures spanning both the Biden and Trump administrations. He did line-item veto a Senate-added a provision in the bill that would have delayed quality standards for publicly funded child care under the Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) program.

 

Posted by on January 07th, 2022

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