Saturday, October 24th, 2020

4 Celina school staff have COVID

By William Kincaid
CELINA - Four Celina Primary School staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and 25 to 30 students who had direct contact with them are in quarantine.
Also, Mercer County Health District officials reported 20 new cases on Friday, raising the county's total to 1,432. Auglaize County reported a total of 70 new cases between Wednesday and Friday for a total of 934 confirmed cases.
Celina City Schools Superintendent Ken Schmiesing made the district announcement on Friday in a letter to parents and community members. Asked for additional details on the staff members, Schmiesing said the four include a combination of primary school teachers and teaching assistants.
By working with the Mercer County Health District and conducting contact tracing, officials learned the cases are linked to community spread, not from spread that occurred inside the school building, Schmiesing said.
"Those rooms do continue to be sanitized. We do have the backpack sprayers that we're using in all of our buildings," he said. "It wasn't something that spread in the school. It was out in the community and these individuals got it."
Per health district protocol, those who test positive are asked to isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms while those who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are asked to quarantine for 14 days.
The students will continue to learn while in quarantine via e-learning and other means, Schmiesing said.
"Those students are issued Chromebooks, and they also have some work packets as well," he said.
School officials continue to follow safety guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings and on buses.
"Students and staff are continuing to follow safety protocols such as wearing masks, remaining socially distanced, washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting classrooms and buses regularly, checking temperatures daily, monitoring for symptoms, etc.," Schmiesing wrote. "We applaud all of these efforts and understand that we need to continue these efforts in order for us to maintain our face-to-face instructional period."
Schmiesing believes the school district will be able to remain open the rest of the school year.
"From what we've seen and the practices that the students and the staff have put in place, I certainly feel confident that we should be able to make it through the entire school year, from what we've seen the first nine weeks," he said.
Mercer County Health District officials reported 20 new cases on Friday, raising the county's total number of cases to 1,432. The COVID-19 dashboard on the district's website also listed 12 hospitalizations, a total of 26 deaths and 1,211 people who have recovered.
Since the pandemic began, 597 cases have been reported in Celina, 240 in Coldwater, 204 in St. Henry, 168 in Fort Recovery, 92 in Maria Stein, 60 in Rockford, 27 in Chickasaw, 22 in Mendon, 10 in Burkettsville and three in Montezuma.
The Auglaize County Health Department reported 20 new confirmed cases on Wednesday and 25 each on Thursday and Friday.
These raise the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 934. The department also reported 80 total hospitalizations, 14 deaths and 801 recovered cases as of Friday.
The Ohio Department of Health has reported 192,948 confirmed or probable cases as of Friday, along with 5,184 confirmed or probable deaths and 17,866 hospitalizations.
Additional online story on this date
Vote '20
Democrat Shannon Freshour and Libertarian Steve Perkins are challenging incumbent 4th District U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, in the Nov. 3 general election. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
CELINA - Looking to avert a double-digit increase in insurance costs in 2021, Mercer County commissioners this week chose to increase county employees' deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums next year.
Group wants to restore 19th-century opera house
FORT RECOVERY - A hidden historical gem is headed toward revitalization thanks to a group of passionate art-history fans.
The Fort Recovery Opera H
Second half lifts Cardinals past Redskins
NEW BREMEN - Going into halftime, St Henry had all the luck, but New Bremen found a way to flip the script.
The Redskins got several lucky bounces
MARIA STEIN - Friday night's weather at Booster Stadium pretty well mirrored the matchup on the field.
Neither one was very pretty.
The Marion Lo