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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine makes plea to keep schools open amid statewide COVID-19 surge

'We must do everything in our power to slow this virus down so our kids can stay in school.'

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine covered a variety of topics during his statewide address Wednesday afternoon from a newly updated mask order to a warning of potential closures coming to bars, restaurants and gyms.

But what about schools?

Gov. DeWine lightly touched on the subject of keeping Ohio’s schools with the following statement about 20 minutes into his speech:

“We must wear our masks to keep our kids in school. Our K-12 schools are doing a phenomenal job. I thank them. I thank everyone in the schools. I believe that most children are simply better off in school than learning remotely. However, as the increasing surge threatens school district’s ability to keep teachers in the classroom, some schools are starting to shift to virtual learning. We must do everything in our power to slow this virus down so our kids can stay in school. It is up to each and every one of us. What you do in the community – what we all do in the community – impacts whether our kids will be able to stay in school. Because no matter how good the schools are, they cannot overcome widespread COVID in the community. It will get into the schools.”

As we’ve seen in previous press conferences recently, Gov. DeWine did not indicate that the state was considering any action involving schools. That decision currently rests with leaders in each district.

A handful of schools have recently chosen to return to a remote learning plan due to COVID-19 concerns.

Watch Gov. DeWine's full address from Wednesday, Nov. 11 in the player below: