COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health today issued a new order requiring K-12 schools to create mechanisms for reporting their COVID-19 cases to parents and health departments and also encouraging parents to report their students' positive coronavirus tests or diagnoses.
The order, signed Thursday by interim ODH Director Lance Himes, takes effect Tuesday.
Parents or guardians of students and school staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing or examination "are encouraged" to notify their school within 24 hours.
Schools may designate existing phone lines — like attendance reporting or school nurse lines — or attendance tracking systems for reporting cases, so long as they're monitored daily.
Schools and school districts are required to report new cases among their students, teachers or other staff in within 24 hours of becoming aware of them.
Schools must notify parents in writing of students who have shared classrooms with infected persons and "share as much information as possible without disclosing protected health information." They must also inform their local health department.
Schools must also designate a COVID-19 coordinator who will handle case reporting. Schools are also encouraged to develop online dashboards indicating the numbers of COVID-19 cases and students or staff who have been quarantined.
Local health departments are required to begin reporting COVID-19 case data at schools in their jurisdictions to The Ohio Department of Health, which will later begin publishing that information on the state's coronavirus website.
Read the full order below. To open a full-size version, click the icon in the upper-right: