More than 460 Twinsburg school staff get COVID-19 vaccine

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
More than 460 staff members with the Twinsburg City Schools received the first of two COVID-19 vaccinations on  Friday.

TWINSBURG – The Twinsburg City Schools took what is hoped to be “the first step in returning to normalcy” on Friday, said Superintendent Kathryn Powers.

That day, more than 460 district staff members received the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It has been a great day here in our school district,” Powers said. She added that there were “some reports of sore arms where the vaccine was given but that is all I heard about reactions.”

Superintendent Kathryn Powers receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

The 4,200-student school district has around 650 staff members, including long-term substitutes, coaches, and contracted service staff, Powers said.

As of Monday, 250 people in the schools — 177 students and 73 staff members — have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since September, according to information from the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The state has given school districts who have committed to returning to in-person learning by March 1 a priority in getting the vaccines.

More: Gov. Mike DeWine: Akron schools not returning to classes by March 1 is 'unacceptable'

Twinsburg City Schools this school year reorganized grades in various school buildings to provide 6 feet social distancing, and thus offered in-person learning for students in preschool through sixth grade five days a week. Students in seventh through 12th are attending class in-person every other day, with classes online the alternating days.

The district also offered the Twinsburg City School District Virtual Academy for families who wish for their students to take their classes online.

After Summit County issued a stay-at-home order last November, the Twinsburg Board of Education decided to have the district went fully remote for two weeks after the winter break, from Jan. 5 through the 15. The district returned to its in-person schooling schedule Jan. 19.

More: Twinsburg students will go remote after winter break.

The number of Ohio students in fully remote schools has dropped from 45% in December to around 5% last week. The number of districts that are fully remote gone from 219 in the first week of January to 31 last week.

More: Backlog nearly doubles Ohio’s COVID-19 death toll in November and December

There have been more than 930,000 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and nearly 13,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. Nearly 50,000 Ohioans have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including more than 6,900 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com