COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday the creation of the Public Health Advisory Alert System, a color-coded system for coronavirus risk in the state’s 88 counties.
He said he’s heard recommendations that we should deal with different parts of the state separately. This system provides health officials and community leaders with data to determine if more layered safety precautions are necessary.
The seven 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.
DeWine said there is a baseline risk for COVID-19 in every county.
Level One: County has triggered zero or one of the indicators. There is active exposure and spread. Currently, 53 counties.
Level Two: County has triggered two or three indicators. There is increased risk of exposure and spread. Currently, 28 counties.
Level Three: County has triggered four or five indicators. There is very high exposure and spread. Currently, seven counties: Trumbull, Huron, Montgomery, Butler, Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Franklin.
Level Four: County has triggered six or seven indicators. There is severe exposure and spread. Currently, zero counties.
DeWine said while many cases in Cuyahoga County during the last three weeks have been within congregate settings, it continues to see a growing number outside those environments. That indicates risk of community transmission.
State officials are keeping close watch on Franklin County, which could move from red to purple on the alert system. DeWine described 1,500 new cases in the past two weeks as “explosive.”
The Public Health Advisory Alert System will be updated once a week with new information released on Thursday.