MEDINA, Ohio (WOIO) - Some teachers at Cloverleaf schools in Medina are back in the classroom this week, with the COVID-19 shot in their arms.
The Ohio Department of Health is not happy after more than 80 teachers received COVID-19 vaccines last Saturday from the Medina County health department.
“I definitely don’t want to make any value judgments about people being more important,” said Principal Daryl Kubilus. “We came to an agreement based on getting our staff vaccinated that we would be able to come back to school on January 19th.”
Those teachers got their shots weeks before the governor has designated for teachers, and ahead of many residents that are considered most vulnerable.
We’re told the county set aside unused vaccine doses from the 1A group to vaccinate the staff.
The ODH addressing the decision in a statement saying:
The Ohio Department of Health is aware of the agreement by the Medina Public Health department and the Cloverleaf schools about vaccinating staff before phase 1B was announced by the Governor. It is important that kids go back to school for their emotional and mental health and we support efforts to do that. However, it is important for our vaccine providers follow the guidance and the Phase 1B plan that has been laid out by the Governor and ODH so that we have enough vaccine to make sure the most vulnerable populations are receiving their shots first.
“My mindset was to do what I could to offer the safest environment for our staff during that time, and that’s what I did,” said Kubilus.
The county health department defended the plan, releasing this statement :
Medina County has a limited number of school personnel from Cloverleaf Local Schools who had been scheduled to be vaccinated on January 16, prior to the governor’s announcement regarding vaccination priorities within Group 1B. The doses to be administered are from unused Group 1A allocated vaccine, not doses reserved for persons 80+. The Cloverleaf board worked closely with the district’s teachers association to reduce the number of school personnel to be vaccinated to fewer than 90 individuals. Following the recertification of a memorandum of understanding with the teachers association, this vaccination will enable Cloverleaf to return to in-person instruction on January 19, along with other Medina County school districts. Cloverleaf has been fully remote since November 6. For the week of January 18, Medina County will receive 1,800 doses of vaccine rather than the previous allotment of 300 doses per week This increase in vaccine availability will ensure continuous expanded capability to vaccinate those in the 80+ category in coming weeks. The balance of Cloverleaf staff and all other Medina County schools already in-person or hybrid will be scheduled for vaccination according to state-established dates as they are released and confirmed.
The rest of the staff in Cloverleaf schools will receive the vaccine sometime in February.