COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health today released the weekly Ohio Public Health Advisory System update.

Mercer County has reached Level 3 (red) of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Additionally, three previously red counties improved to Level 2 (orange) of the Ohio PublicHealth Advisory: Hamilton, Henry, and Lawrence.

“Mercer County is our most concerning county in the state right now. The daily case rates in Mercer County have increased more than 200 percent in recent weeks, and they have had significant community spread. Citizens, businesses, and local officials in Mercer County need to do everything they can to undertake the mitigation efforts we know slows spread of the virus — social distancing, wearing masks, good hand washing hygiene, and reducing interactions with anyone outside your household,” said Governor MikeDeWine.

“We also have good news in Hamilton County, which has moved from red to orange. Hamilton County is a success story. We partnered with community leaders to increase mask usage, social distancing, and testing in the community. Hamilton County implemented best practices, and as a result, has moved their numbers below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) High Incidence thresholds. Hamilton County residents need to keep up these efforts to keep virus spread lower, but they also serve as a model for the rest of Ohio,” DeWine said

Public Health Advisory System

  • Level 3 (red): 11 counties
  • Level 2 (orange): 51 countie
  • Level 1 (yellow): 26 counties
  • One county moved from orange to red: Mercer
  • Seven counties moved from yellow to orange: Logan, Muskingum, Pike, Richland, Stark, Wayne, and Williams
  • Three counties improved from red to orange: Hamilton, Henry, and Lawrence
  • Ten counties improved from orange to yellow: Athens, Carroll, Columbiana, Geauga, Holmes, Jackson, Madison, Meigs, Tuscarawas, and Union
  • These counties remained red due to meeting the CDC definition of High Incidence (100 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks): Allen114.3; Cuyahoga114.6; Erie118.5; Fairfield121.2; Franklin142.5Licking106.9; Lucas189.6; Marion102.9;

Mercer County has the highest case rate per capita in Ohio at 262.3 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. The daily new cases increased from an average of three per day July 11 to an average of 10 per day July 31.

Mercer County was the only county in Ohio to trigger the hospitalization increase indicator this week. Recent outbreaks include a funeral, workplaces, and some long-term care facilities. Travel in and out of the state also may be contributing to increased cases in the county.

Staff report