Week in Review > Week in Review 07-30-21

Posted by on July 30th, 2021


Over the week, COVID cases in the state started increasing significantly with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reporting Tuesday a jump of 1,317 cases, far exceeding the three-week average of 537 daily cases and marking the first since mid-May that the state reported more than 1,000 daily cases. Hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths reported in the past day also exceeded their three-week averages. ODH reported 127 hospitalizations in the past day, compared to an average of 43. ODH reported 535 people were in hospitals with confirmed COVID cases as of Tuesday. Thursday saw another 1,205 COVID-19 cases reported, nearly double the now 21-day average of 631. Ohio has had a total of 1,126,625 cases since the pandemic began. There have been a total of 20,490 deaths in the state.


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is not including any mandates in its guidance for the resumption of school this fall, but strongly recommends the unvaccinated wear masks and that as many school employees and students as possible be vaccinated. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for ODH, joined pediatricians from children’s hospitals in Cincinnati and Akron to discuss state guidance for K-12 schools Monday. Vaccination remains the best protection and is strongly recommended for all school employees and students age 12 and up, who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, said Vanderhoff. He urged those with questions or concerns about the vaccines to take them up with a trusted health care professional like a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Addressing one reported side effect in children, cases of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle, Vanderhoff said children are more likely to suffer from that condition as a result of catching COVID than from the vaccine.

Health departments for Columbus and Franklin County jointly recommended Wednesday that all students and employees at schools in the city and county wear masks when classes resume, regardless of vaccinated status, a more expansive recommendation than the Ohio Department of Health’s call earlier this week for the unvaccinated to wear masks in school. The Ohio Education Association (OEA) also backed mask policies, saying local districts should “follow science, not political rhetoric” on the issue. “Educators want nothing more than to return to full, in-person instruction this fall,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro in a statement. “But we want to make sure that when we do, we do so safely for our kids and communities.”

Teachers from Akron, Cleveland, Oberlin and Upper Arlington are finalists for Ohio’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. The Ohio Department of Education announced the finalists from a slate of 11 Teachers of the Year for each of Ohio’s State Board of Education districts. The four finalists are the following: 

 Kurt Russell of Oberlin High School, a history teacher and basketball coach, representing District 2.

 Allison Tomlin of Upper Arlington’s Hastings Middle School, a health teacher, representing District 6.

 Maggie Oliver of Akron’s Helen Arnold Community Learning Center, who teaches kindergarten and first grade and works in special education, representing District 7.

 Carla Neely of Cleveland’s Warner Girls Leadership Academy, a fifth and sixth grade science teacher, representing District 11.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released almost $22 million to Ohio this week from American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding set aside to address the education of students experiencing homelessness. It’s the second and larger installment of a total $29.3 million Ohio is getting via the Homeless Children and Youth (HCY) program from the federal COVID relief package. Funding totals $800 million nationwide, with $600 million included in this latest release of funds.


Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) announced on social media this week that he is seeking to become the next House speaker in the 135th General Assembly, launching a bid to replace term-limited Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) after this session. Plummer, a former Montgomery County sheriff who is serving in his second term in the Ohio House, also held a fundraiser organized by one of his supporters for speaker — Rep. Scott Lipps (R-Hamilton).

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