- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that K-12 schools will be closed for in-person learning for the rest of the academic year and that students will continue to learn remotely.

“The virus continues. We have flattened the curve, but it remains dangerous,” Mr. DeWine said during his latest update on the coronavirus outbreak in the state.

He said there has been no decision yet about the fall, but that there have been discussions about a “blended system” with a combination of some in-person schooling and remote learning.



“I know that parents, teachers, administrators are anxious for a decision about the fall, but we are simply not in a position yet to make that decision,” he said.

Schools in the state have been closed since March via an order from the state Department of Health. Mr. DeWine had extended those closures through May 1.

The announcement on schools comes shortly after Mr. DeWine said the state is crafting plans for a gradual reopening of some businesses in the state starting next month.

The governor said he respects protesters who are calling for a quicker reopening and asked them to be safe.

“The worst thing we could do is to completely take off all restraints, go back at it — we know what would happen,” he said. “Some of those same protesters would have family members, or themselves, who might end up in a hospital and we would not have the care that they needed.”

He said he’s heard from businesses telling him not to open things back up and then pull the rug out from under them in a few weeks.

“Businesses have told me, ‘If I go back in and open up and you close me again, I really am done,’” Mr. DeWine said. “So we’re trying to get it right, but we understand it’s a very difficult situation for everyone out there.”

He said the reopening plan will be consistent with recent guidance from the White House outlining certain benchmarks on infections and testing before states move to relax some of their stay-at-home measures.

“The president made it very clear that every state’s going to do their own thing,” he said. “It will be an Ohio plan for Ohioans.”

There are more than 12,900 coronavirus cases and more than 500 coronavirus-related deaths in Ohio, which is home to about 11.7 million people.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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