Numbers rise as post-spring break trip monitoring continues

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – There are now 537 cases of COVID 19 in Belmont County.

Of Belmont County’s 537 confirmed cases 19 students and one adult went to Myrtle Beach and two young adults who went on another school trip traveled to Panama City.

The trip and its after-effects became a nationwide story, drawing intense social media reaction on both sides.

“There are still people out there who think the virus is a hoax,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Rob Sproul. “And we have learned these kids let down their guard. They had been cooped up for months. They didn’t wear masks, they didn’t adhere to social distancing. And now we have 21 people sick, others being tested, and at least two school districts shutting down their athletic practices.”

He said the outbreak may prompt the governor to impose a travel ban or make wearing masks mandatory. He said the decisions about opening schools continue to pose numerous questions and challenges. He said seat spacing in classrooms and on buses is a tremendous challenge, and the decision of in-person vs online classes is still being debated.

“But I think we learned recently that remote learning wasn’t nearly as effective as being in class,” Sproul noted. “It all comes with challenges.”

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