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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Franklin County Health Commissioner says schools will be ready for in-person learning

Franklin County leads the state with the highest number of confirmed cases.

Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola says he's concerned about the increased cases in Franklin County.

He believes the cases in Franklin County are being spread by those who are asymptomatic--meaning people who are shedding the virus but are not showing any symptoms.

“In our health jurisdiction, our median age is now 43-years old. Just a few days ago, it was 45-years old, and a few weeks ago it was 55-years old, so we are seeing asymptomatic cases the younger that individual is, so that's a concern,” he said.

The zip code with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Franklin County is the 43068 zip code. That's near Reynoldsburg.

The health department couldn't explain why this area was seeing more cases but plans to set up a pop-up testing facility at the end of the month in the area with the help of the Ohio National Guard.

As for the students returning to the classroom, he says schools in the Franklin County health district, will be ready to accept students should in-person learning resumes in August.

He says what parents, teachers and students will notice is a lot of signage about social distancing, washing their hands, and wearing a mask.

K-12 Schools are concerned about not having enough PPE or money to pay for more janitorial staff to clean the schools.

On Monday, the state controlling board approved $300 million dollars for k-12 and colleges to allow them to buy the materials to make their schools safe. 

Mazzola warned what could happen if Franklin County COVID-19 numbers spike, and send us from a red county to a county in purple on the state's alert system.

“If we have to go to 100% online learning we should suspend high school sports as well. Right now, our school districts are doing everything they can to prepare for a return to school but knowing that there may be a chance that we will have to adjust right now we have asked them to adhere to a blended model learning, he said.

Franklin County has a cumulative total of 12,067 cases as of Tuesday and 422 confirmed deaths and 7,758 presumed recovered.