OHIO (WJW) — There are now 19 counties in Ohio under Level 3 of the state’s coronavirus alert system, meaning residents there must wear masks in public.
The addition of seven counties to the existing list were announced by Gov. Mike DeWine at a press briefing on Thursday.
Indicators of the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System determine a county’s risk for the virus.
The indicators are: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases that are not in congregate settings, sustained increase in COVID-19-related emergency room visits, sustained increase in COVID-19 outpatient visits including telehealth, sustained increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and intensive care unit occupancy.
Counties in Level 3, or the Red Level, meet four or five indicators and trigger a mask mandate. For the new counties, the mandate starts at 6 p.m. Friday.
The list is as follows:
Also on Thursday, Trumbull County was moved from Level 3 to Level 2. DeWine said while new cases are still happening, the rate of these cases has decreased.
In Richland County, officials have seen their daily case average double over the last few weeks. With 124,000 residents, Richland County has more cases in the last two weeks than all of Jamaica, which has a population of 2.9 million, according to the governor.
For Cuyahoga County, outpatient visits for coronavirus more than tripled during the past three weeks.
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health said there have been 70,601 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 3,103 deaths in the state since the pandemic began. In the last 24 hours, 1,290 cases, 28 fatalities, 115 hospitalizations and 21 intensive care admissions were reported to the state health department.
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