Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine loosened quarantine guidelines for students involved in spring sports during a Thursday press briefing.
Student athletes won't need to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom while masked, DeWine said.
"The good news is spring sports are basically outside," DeWine said. "And that makes things better."
DeWine announced in late December that students exposed to the virus in school while masked did not have to quarantine from school. Those students were expected to stay home from extracurriculars, however.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health, says K-12 students have two important factors working in their favor as we head into the spring.
"First, most of the time they're outdoors or in facilities that can open doors or windows to allow enhanced ventilation. That really reduces the risk of COVID transmission," Vanderhoff said. "Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, our K-12 students have an outstanding track record of wearing masks and following safe practices in the classroom."
Vanderhoff cited the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation, stating students not currently required to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure in the classroom are at "very low risk" of contracting the virus.
Student athletes exposed to COVID-19 outside of the classroom might need to quarantine, Vanderhoff said. In that situation, students should quarantine seven days with a negative COVID-19 test or 10 days without a test.
Additional guidance for Ohio's spring athletes will be released Thursday evening, DeWine said.