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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Cuyahoga County is one of 38 Ohio counties in the red level of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

The system examines seven factors, then assigns each county a color for its coronavirus risk with yellow being the lowest level and purple being the most severe.

“Some of those indicators are early warnings. Others are late warnings, like hospitalizations,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Thursday.

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.

  • Level 1 (Yellow): Active exposure and spread.
    • Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.
    • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
    • Wear face coverings in public especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
    • Increase caution when interacting with others not practicing social distancing or wearing face covers.
    • Avoid traveling to high-risk areas.
    • Follow good hygiene standards.
  • Level 2 (Orange): Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution.
    • Same guidelines as in Level 1.
    • Avoid contact with anyone who is considered high-risk.
    • High-risk individuals should take extra care to follow precautions.
    • Decrease in-person interactions outside household.
    • Seek medical care as needed, but limit or avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals, nursing homes and residential care facilities to see others as much as possible.
  • Level 3 (Red): Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible.
    • Same guidelines as in Levels 1 and 2.
    • Decrease in-person interactions with others.
    • Consider necessary travel only.
    • Limit attending gatherings of any number.
  • Level 4 (Purple): Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services.
    • Same guidelines as in Level 1 to 3.
    • Stay at home/necessary travel only.

While Cuyahoga County is currently at the red level, it’s at risk of moving to purple.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the county is experiencing all of the indicators, except for ICU occupancy. It also meets the Centers for Disease Control standard for high COVID-19 incidence with more than 100 cases per 100,000.

“Local health department officials report that they are seeing double the case volume compared to just two weeks ago. They also report that hospitals are seeing increased inpatient and outpatient volume, and that social gatherings continue to be a problem,” DeWine said.

If Cuyahoga County continues to meet these indicators for a second straight week, it will become the first in the state to be labeled purple on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

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