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Breaking down quarantine and isolation numbers in schools

It can be shocking to see triple-digit numbers of students who are under quarantine for COVID-19. Health leaders say you shouldn't be overly concerned.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Over the next few weeks, the majority of school districts in Lucas and Wood county will have students learning in the classrooms.

With an ongoing pandemic, there is a higher likelihood of cases popping up in any district. 

Many school and health leaders have said it's not if schools get COVID-19 cases, it's when schools see cases.

"As the governor often says, if there are cases in the community, then there will be cases in the schools. But when the schools take these steps to keep themselves safe, they're going to find themselves able to limit the disease more effectively" Wood County Health Commissioner Benjamin Robison said.

To breakdown what's being reported in schools' weekly updates:

  • Isolation means a person is showing symptoms and has tested positive for the virus.
  • Quarantine means a person has had exposure to someone who tested positive and is being asked to stay home to prevent further spread if they have the virus.

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There have been times where numbers have been more than 100 people in quarantine. That's been the case in Perrysburg with up to 120 people staying home and out of school. 

"Although some of the numbers may seem high, what that really represents in an effective public health investigation that's identified the potential risk so that we can keep the community protected," Robison said.

The health commissioner said the community should not overreact when they see high quarantine numbers because there is a likelihood that the majority of those people will not develop symptoms, it's simply precautionary. 

Robinson added every case is unique, but if they didn't quarantine everyone in contact, there could be a larger spread of illness.

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