January 27, 2022 

On January 26, 2022, the Ohio Department of Health issued a memo to local health departments and school superintendents on new requirements, effective immediately, for contact tracing and case investigation relating to COVID-19. The memo recommends that local health departments shift from universal contact tracing to a cluster or outbreak-based model. With this shift, the requirements for school districts have changed:

  • Schools may now discontinue universal contact tracing, however schools are expected to assist their local health departments with contact tracing, case investigation and exposure notification as related to outbreak or clusters in school as determined by the local health department;
  • School case reporting will now be expected weekly. Starting on February 4, 2022, schools should report positive student and staff cases to their local health departments by the close of business on Fridays.

Schools should still continue to follow the Ohio Department of Health’s “Mask to Stay, Test to Play” protocol.

This shift will decrease the burdens on school districts with respect to contract tracing and could also impact student quarantines.

The Ohio Department of Health’s memo and guidance from the Ohio Department of Education can be found here and here.

Sara G. Katz is an associate at Walter | Haverfield who focuses her practice on education law. She can be reached at skatz@walterhav.com or at 614.246.2274.