Week in Review > Week in Review 02-19-2021Posted by Kevin Miller on February 19th, 2021
The General Assembly would be granted the power to use concurrent resolutions to terminate states of emergency declared by the executive branch, rescind orders of the governor or Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and invalidate emergency administrative rules under SB22 (McColley-Roegner) which passed the Senate by a vote of 25-8 on Wednesday. Republicans argued that the legislation simply provides a check on executive power, while Democrats said the bill is unconstitutional, undermines the work of the DeWine administration and would hamper the state’s ability to react effectively to an emergency in the future.
While every Ohio school district but one had made a commitment to in-person or hybrid learning after March 1 as part of the staff vaccination effort, Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday evening that some have signaled they may go back on that pledge. At the unusual evening news conference, he urged them not to. “We have learned that some kids have really not done very well remotely, and some kids — particularly in our urban schools — have been out of school now for almost a year. It’s time to get them back in school,” DeWine said. “We have seen some of the consequences and heard some of the consequences of children not being in school — social consequences, mental health consequences, academic consequences. We saw that in some of the testing that has been done recently.”
However, on Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine, apparently seeking to lower the temperature following his Friday public criticism of school districts that might miss his Monday, March 1 deadline to return to in-person learning, said he wanted to focus on the successes of his educator vaccination program instead of the problems.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new advice Friday for the safe resumption of in-person schooling. “This operational strategy presents a pathway to reopen schools and help them remain open through consistent use of mitigation strategies, especially universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing,” the document states. In addition to masks and distancing, which the document presents as the two most important mitigation strategies, the CDC also urged adherence to other “essential” strategies including “handwashing and respiratory etiquette,” “cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities,” and “contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the health department.”
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