COVID-19 & Ohio: Updated County Risk Levels, Increased Spread in Cases
Oct. 15, 2020
Today, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeWine released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 29 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3): Adams, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, Scioto, Union and Warren
“We have 70 counties that are either red or high incidence," DeWine said. "That’s 10 million Ohioans or 85 percent of the population, living in an area with a high risk of community transmission."
DeWine reviewed the seven indicators of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, which assess the degree of the virus’ spread in each county. The seven indicators are:
- Indicator 1: New cases per capita
- Indicator 2: Sustained increase in new cases
- Indicator 3: Proportion of cases not in congregate setting
- Indicator 4: Sustained increase in Emergency Department visits for COVID-like illness
- Indicator 5: Sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness
- Indicator 6: Sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions
- Indicator 7: Intensive Care Unit bed occupancy
A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.
DeWine also announced the state’s positivity rate was 5.4 percent and the seven-day average was 4.2 percent. This is up from September when the positivity rate was 2.7 percent. He reported that today Ohio has 1,042 COVID inpatients in hospitals, which is a significant increase from the 563 patients on Sept. 20, 2020.
DeWine spoke with Dr. Nick Dreher, medical director of the Population Health Innovation Institute at MetroHealth System, and Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at MetroHealth System about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Ohio.
Margolius told Ohioans that if they are planning to spend time with family and friends, they need to do it safely, by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Dreher reminded Ohioans that they know how to fight the spread of COVID-19 and need to continue following the proper prevention methods to avoid stress on Ohio’s hospital systems.
“The only way, the only way we can beat this virus back is to follow the prevention methods we have been talking about since the beginning of the pandemic,” said DeWine. “Stay home when you are sick. Social distance. Wear a mask. Always.”
Husted also reminded Ohioans that today is the last day to respond to the 2020 Census. The census determines the spending of $675 billion in federal funds and what portion of that funding comes back to Ohio for schools, hospitals, public safety, roads and bridges. Individuals can respond online or by phone: In English (844) 330-2020 or in Spanish at (844) 468-2020.