Public health alert: Cuyahoga County on purple Level 4 watchlist. Here’s what it means.


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – Cuyahoga County is on a Level 4 watchlist in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

It’s a metric system that tracks the spread of coronavirus in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Level 4 purple is the highest risk category in the state and encourages people to leave home only for “supplies and services.”

Here’s how the risks are measured:

  • 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
  • intensive care unit occupancy

Level 4 means 6 to 7 of those indicators are met.

Cuyahoga County meets six of them.

Cuyahoga is the only county in Northeast Ohio on the watchlist, although Lake, Geauga, Lorain, Portage, Summit, Mahoning, Stark, and Wayne counties are also listed as high-risk level red.

Currently, 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are seeing high incidence of spread.

Governor Mike DeWine has said he has no plans to issue any orders from the state level and that decisions should be made locally.

According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s recommendations based on CDC guidance, under purple all “schools are strongly encouraged to implement a model where all students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.”

The state will release a new map during Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday.

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