38 Ohio counties in red level for coronavirus; Geauga, Lake and Tuscarawas counties added

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released the latest color-coded state map showing coronavirus risk and exposure during his news conference on Thursday.

There are 38 counties in the red level. Northeast Ohio counties in that category are Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Portage, Tuscarawas and Wayne.

“We now only have four counties that are yellow. This is the highest number of red counties and the lowest number of yellow counties to date. That means that 74 percent of Ohioans are living in a red county. Only 1 percent are living in a yellow county,” DeWine said.

Cuyahoga County is seeing a sustained increase in new cases, outpatient visits and hospitalizations. DeWine said the case volume has doubled in the last two weeks. Social gatherings continue to be a problem. Cuyahoga County is at risk of entering the purple level.

Geauga County is red for the first time as it experiences a spike in cases and outpatient visits. According to the governor, there is a drop in masking.

In Lake County, also red for the first time, a large gathering resulted in cases that spilled into a workplace. There is also resistance to contact tracing.

Lorain County was last red the week of Aug. 27. It’s seeing a sustained increase in cases and outpatient visits. Cases are tied to sleepovers and a workplace.

Tuscarawas County is also red for the first time. DeWine said there’s a sustained increase in cases, outpatient visits and hospital admissions. There are 22 hospitalized with COVID-19 and three of them are on ventilators.

Wayne County was last red during the week of Sept. 3. There are outbreaks at the College of Wooster and a long-term care facility.

The Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System is a color-coded system that assesses the spread of the virus in each of the state’s 88 counties. It examines the following factors: 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.

  • Level 1 (Yellow): Active exposure and spread.
  • Level 2 (Orange): Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution.
  • Level 3 (Red): Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible.
  • Level 4 (Purple): Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services.

“Some of those indicators are early warnings. Others are late warnings, like hospitalizations,” DeWine said.

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