STRONGSVILLE, OH — Strongsville Schools will proceed with a remote-only start to the school year, despite a downgrading of the COVID-19 threat in Cuyahoga County.
“We want our students to return to in person learning; however, we need to be patient and make the transition at a time when it appears that the county is more stable, so that we do not reopen to just close again,” Ryba said in an email to families.
Last week, the Ohio Department of Health downgraded Cuyahoga County from a “red” or “Level 3” threat for COVID-19 spread to a “Level 2” or “orange.” This is the first time since the color-coded system was unveiled that Cuyahoga County has been downgraded.
However, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) has not changed it recommendation to local school — districts should still open the year with remote-only education. Strongsville Schools Superintendent Cameron Ryba said he will follow the board’s recommendations.
“Specifically, we will be looking to see 3-4 weeks of sustained improvement and/or stabilization in terms of COVID positivity rates, new cases, and the COVID county risk rating,” the superintendent said.
When issuing recommendations on school reopenings, the board will also look at these metrics:
- Increased testing capacity for children — The board wants more testing for kids and teens because there is currently “little to no testing for teens and children under 18.”
- County risk level of “Orange” for several weeks — If Cuyahoga County remains “Orange” or lower for several weeks, that would reflect a sustained decrease in COVID-19 spread locally
- Fewer new case reports — Health officials want to see a steady decline in newly reported COVID-19 cases
- Lower positivity rates — Cuyahoga County needs to show a decline of COVID-19 positivity rates, preferably dropping below 5 percent for multiple weeks