Gov. DeWine Rethinking Quarantining Healthy Ohio Students

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A Troy High School football player tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Tuesday.

Regardless of any COVID test outcomes, the entire team was asked to quarantine for 14-days, forcing the school to forfeit their Division II regional playoff game scheduled for Friday.

The Ohio Star reported on an incident involving a high school senior who missed her district golf tournament, not because she tested positive for COVID, but rather she was named as a contact when another student who tested positive was contact traced. She did not get sick and never displayed symptoms.

According to the local health commissioner, the Ohio Department of Health flip-flopped on its decision and decided to let the senior play – five hours after her tee time. The girl was unable to compete.

Last week, The Star asked Ohio Governor DeWine about masking, testing and quarantining healthy school children. DeWine said the state would be conducting research in schools to determine if kids who are exposed to COVID-positive students are spreading the virus – despite expert remarks made to the contrary in July when CDC Director Robert Redfield said that kids were not transmitting COVID.

Emily Oster, a Brown University economist, echoed Redfield’s July claim in an August 9 article in The Atlantic. “Our data on almost 200,000 kids in 47 states from the last two weeks of September revealed an infection rate of 0.13 percent among students and 0.24 percent among staff,” said Oster.

Oster’s online dashboard shows that 1,297 schools reported data from September 14 -27.

Consequently, The Star asked Governor DeWine a follow up question at the October 13 press briefing about testing, tracing and quarantining kids given new information that has surfaced. The question is below.

Since last week we’ve learned:

  • Schools are not super-spreaders according to a Brown University study: confirming what the CDC said in mid-July.
  • Lockdowns cause mass poverty and the benefits of normal education outweigh risks – according to the World Health Organization.
  • 85% of those who masked contracted COVID, while only 3% of those who didn’t mask contracted the virus, according to a CDC study.
  • BinaxNOW tests you want to use in our schools are approved for off label use but the test manufacturer does not recommend them for use on asymptomatic people and nearly all children who are positive are asymptomatic.

We are also receiving anecdotal reports of kids suffering infections, heart conditions and kidney issues due to masking.

We are 10 months in and not one child under 18 has died from COVID.

Governor, can you get kids back in school full-time, without the dangerous demand of masking, unnecessary testing and can we stop the unethical 14-day quarantine of healthy kids?

DeWine acknowledged parents are frustrated and that superintendents are questioning the quarantine of healthy kids.

“We know that kids can spread it,” said DeWine. “You used the term super spreader – that’s a different thing,” continued the governor, “but we don’t think by-and-large, that most kids are getting the virus in school.”

However, the information casts doubt on the claims from DeWine that the science on masking is irrefutable, especially when taken in context with flip-flops from both White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams – both initially stated mask mandates were not necessary.

Dr. David Nabarro of the World Health Organization said in his video interview with The Spectator that lockdowns produced poverty and we may see the poverty level double in a year.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” said Nabarro.  The doctor went on to say that testing, tracing and quarantining is a strategy to replace a shut-it-all-down approach.

However, it’s the test, trace, quarantine strategy that Ohioans are questioning – especially as healthy students are sent home to quarantine and forced to end their sports seasons.

The BinaxNOW tests are used they report positive results for live SARS-CoVID-2 and SARS-CoVID-1 and viral fragments that are no longer viable.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s intended use “[p]ositive results indicate the presence of viral antigens, but clinical correlation with patient history and other diagnostic information is necessary to determine infection status. Positive results do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses.”

Unless other factors are considered alongside the positive test result, BinaxNOW tests will create scenarios where positive tests are returned from non-viable viral fragments, bacterial infections or other viruses -meaning a person not currently COVID-infected or COVID-infectious can be hit with a positive result and quarantine mandates.

DeWine did not yet indicate whether the tests were going to be prescribed, used on only suspected students and what approval is needed to administer.

“We get back to the question that superintendents have raised to us: ‘Sally is sitting here. Turns out she’s got COVID. Say she got it from her Dad or whatever, she’s got it – now we know that.  We go back and see who she sat with.’  For the schools that can’t separate by six feet – this is where we get into the question. And we try to follow what the CDC said – the health department is trying to follow that,” said DeWine when answering the question from The Star.

He continued, “The fear all along from the health experts, as I understand it, going back to when schools were closed has been that – particularly kids over 10 –any child can get it, but children over 10 are more likely to be spreaders. And so, we take that back and even if they have no symptoms, we never know that, and they go take it back to their family and it spreads out from there.”

DeWine said he will work with Ohio State University to gather data samples from Ohio school kids and to use the data to determine if students in close contact with a COVID-positive student end up with the virus. Students who were exposed to the COVID-positive child will stay in class and stay in school.

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Jack Windsor is Managing Editor and an Investigative Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an Investigative Reporter at WMFD-TV. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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