Richland County becomes Risk Level 3/Red, triggering mandatory facial coverings starting Friday


Crawford County Level 1; Morrow County Level 2

MANSFIELD — Richland Public Health was alerted Thursday afternoon that Richland County has moved from Risk Level 2/Orange into Risk Level 3/Red in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The Level 3 Risk designation means that there is very high exposure and spread of COVID-19 in Richland County. Richland County residents are encouraged to limit activities as much as possible and to follow all current health orders.

Level 3 also mandates facial coverings be worn at all times. This includes when in any indoor location that is not a residence; Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service or ride sharing vehicle.

This does not apply to vehicles engaged in direct travel through a county that does not stop in that county. (Follow this link to learn more about cloth face coverings.)

The requirement to wear a facial covering begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 17, and shall continue until Richland County is no longer designated at a Level 3 in the Public Health Advisory System.

Crawford County is at Level 1, as are Knox and Seneca counties. Morrow, Marion, Huron and Wyandot counties are at Level 2.

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System was established to increase the information available to Ohioans about COVID-19 risk at the County Level. Seven indicators are analyzed to assess risk for each county.

The indicators are as follows:

  • New Cases Per Capita – Flagged if greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
  • Sustained Increase in New Cases – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in overall cases by onset date.
  • Proportion of Cases Not Congregate Cases – Flagged if proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting goes over 50 percent.
  • Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of visits to the emergency department with COVID-like illness or a diagnosis.
  • Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of people going to a health care provider with COVID symptoms who then receive a COVID confirmed or suspected diagnosis.
  • Sustained Increase in New COVID Hospital Admissions – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy – Flagged if the percentage of occupied ICU beds in each region goes above 80 percent for at least three days in the last week.

Level 3 is reached when a county triggers 4-5 of the above indicators.

The indicators triggered in Richland County are:

  • New Cases Per Capita (67 cases between June 23 and July 11)
  • Proportion of Cases Not Congregate Cases (76 percent of cases are not from a congregate setting)
  • Sustained increase in Emergency Room Visits (from 3 visits per day to 6 visit per day from June 23 to July 11)
  • Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits (from 21 visits to 29 visits)

Residents should follow the recommended guidelines for Risk Level 3 to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a face covering (cloth mask) when out in the public.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
  • Consider necessary travel only.
  • Follow good hygiene standards, including:
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes (e.g., into a tissue, or elbow).
  • Symptom self-evaluation monitoring.
  • Decrease in-person interactions with others.
  • Limit attending gatherings of any number.
  • Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.
  • 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.

For more information about the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, visit http://coronavirus.ohio.gov.

For more information about the coronavirus situation in Richland County visit https://www.richlandhealth.org/ and follow the coronavirus links in the sliders at the top of the page.

If you have questions, call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Line 1-833-427-5634. The call line is open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day, including weekends.

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Crawford County remains at Level 1

 

Staff report

galnews@aimmediamidwest.com