WAYNE — Tolsia High School has announced a temporary closure following what appears to be a COVID-19 outbreak in the past week.
Students and parents were notified Sunday that the school would be closed to in-person learning May 3-10 and students are expected to be able to return May 11. Students will continue with virtual learning during the closure.
The notice said all of the positive cases were from students. According to the Wayne County Schools website and COVID-19 Tracker, 30 in-person students tested positive between April 24-May 3. One virtual student also tested positive during the week.
Superintendent Todd Alexander said there is no set number they use to close a school for positive COVID-19 cases, but the administration works with the state Department of Health and Human Resources to determine whether an incident is an outbreak.
Alexander said administration is calling the positive cases an outbreak but he is unaware if the DHHR is labeling the situation an outbreak in the county. An outbreak, he said, is when two or more students test positive and are not connected outside of school.
In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear signaled Monday that he will consider relaxing more coronavirus-related restrictions before the state reaches a key vaccination target.
Nearly 1.85 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine — slightly more than half the statewide population age 16 and older, the governor said. Several hundred thousand Kentuckians still need to be vaccinated before achieving the threshold set by Beshear.
Once 2.5 million of the state’s residents receive at least their first shot, Beshear has pledged to lift capacity and physical distancing restrictions for nearly all businesses, venues and events catering to 1,000 or fewer patrons. Anyone 16 or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky.
“We are open to relaxing certain restrictions before then and indeed we have,” the governor said. “We were able to relax travel guidance to those that are vaccinated. We were able already to increase indoor capacity to 60% for things like restaurants and retail. We were able to increase capacity for stadiums and arenas outside and indoor. We were able to relax our mask mandate.”
Beshear urged Kentuckians to “work really hard” in coming weeks to raise vaccination rates to “where we need to go.”
Anyone 16 or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky.
Statewide, there were 313 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday and five new deaths.
In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that a new Ohio Department of Health order will exempt fully vaccinated staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities from routine testing. Staff members who are not fully vaccinated will be required to be tested twice a week.
An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Health have developed a plan for organizations working to ensure homebound individuals have access to the vaccine. That playbook is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. If you are a homebound individual or know a homebound individual in Ohio who would like a vaccine, contact your Area Agency on Aging at 866-243-5678.