Ohio children’s hospitals, governor urge school superintendents to require masks as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 2:55 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:40 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Children’s Hospital Association is making a direct appeal to school superintendents across the state, asking them to require masks for all students. During a press conference with Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday afternoon, administrators cited rising numbers both across the state and in pediatric numbers specifically as part of their reasoning.

The CEOs of all six Ohio children’s hospitals, including ProMedica Russel J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital in Toledo, signed a letter to all Ohioans, asking for help in curbing the number of children coming to their hospitals. Those children aren’t just arriving with COVID-19 symptoms, though that was among the concerns, as was the unprecedented number of pediatric ICU patients with COVID-19. They also cited an increase in children arriving with mental health issues as well as other respiratory issues like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

In the letter, the hospital administrators urged all Ohioans who are eligible to get one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and reminded residents to wear a mask indoors and at large gatherings.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported an additional 7,325 cases of the virus among Ohioans in the last 24-hours with an additional 324 hospitalizations and 111 deaths attributed to the virus. Cases in children under 18 account for about 25% of positive cases in the state during the month of September.

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