Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

DeWine: Pending K-12 Guidelines Gives Districts Flexibility

School bus
Dan Konik
School bus

School districts around the state are preparing for what the next academic year will look like for students, teachers, and staff. But administrators say they're waiting for the state to give them guidelines before they can put those plans into action.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the Ohio Department of Education will soon announce the state's guidelines for how K-12 schools should operate under the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeWine says the protocols shouldn't be surprising to districts, alluding to social distancing and hand washing rules that have been implemented in other sectors.

"So they're going to have a lot of flexibility on how they do that but the basic science that we've been talking about for the last four months has simply not changed," says DeWine.

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine discusses the pending guidelines for schools.

School superintendents say they're planning for several scenarios such as required masks or temperature screenings, but they say they need to know the guidelines as soon as possible so they can budget for the necessary changes.

The governor acknowledged that there will be potential challenges for districts, specifically mentioning the issue of transportation. He says buses can become a particular problem especially for districts that bus a large number of students.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.