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How many COVID cases are tied to schools? Data errors make it hard to tell

Journal-News |

The weekly dashboard for COVID-19 cases tied to Ohio K-12 schools had numerous discrepancies last Thursday, and health officials are trying to make fixes before this week’s update comes out today.

Several schools in the region had cases disappear from their cumulative totals when the Ohio Department of Health posted its weekly dashboard update on Thursday. Ohio Department of Health officials looked at multiple discrepancies raised by the Journal-News and confirmed that the data posted on their website last Thursday “is what has been reported by the local health departments.”

A statewide order issued in early September says schools have to contact their county health department within 24 hours of being notified of a COVID-19 case in a student or school employee. County health departments then report that data to ODH, which releases updated statistics each Thursday.

But issues with the data have existed from the beginning. Some cases didn’t show up in the state dashboard until two or three weeks after schools notified parents.