MANSFIELD – Richland Public Health was alerted Thursday afternoon that Richland County has moved from Risk Level 2/Orange back into Risk Level 3/Red in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for COVID-19. The Red designation comes with a *warning* for being very close to Level 4 (Purple).
Crawford County remains at Level 2/Orange for a second straight week.
Richland County triggered 6 indicators meaning that county will remain at Level 3 (Red) for one week. If 6-7 indicators are also triggered next week, the county will move to Level 4 (Purple). At Level 4, Richland County would have severe exposure and spread and stay at home orders would be issued.
The Level 3 Risk designation this week 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.
Sarah Humphrey, Health Commissioner at Richland Public Health said “The question all Richland County residents need to be asking themselves right now is, “What can I do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 virus, to help businesses, schools, athletics, and everyday life from being disrupted further, and to simply keep those who may not be as healthy as themselves not end up sick, hospitalized, or worse?”
“It is going to take our community, working together, to change the trajectory of COVID-19 in Richland County,” Humphrey continued. “This includes wearing masks when necessary, social distancing, staying home when sick, and not to hold unnecessary family and social get-togethers. Right now, a common focus is to keep children in the schools safely, in an environment where we know they thrive. In order to do this, we all need to recognize the role we play in keeping others healthy and simply do our part.”
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. Level 3 is reached when a county triggers 4 to 5 of the 7 indicators. The indicators triggered in Richland County are as follows:
- New Cases Per Capita (78.4 cases per 100,000 residents
- Sustained Increase in New Cases (4.1 cases on 9/19 to 9.1 on 9/25)
- Proportion of Cases Not in a Congregate Cases
- Sustained Increase in Emergency Department Visits (3.3 average visits on 9/24 to 7.7 on 9/29)
- Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits (11.4 average visits on 9/9 to 23.4 on 9/14)
- Sustained Increase in Hospital Admissions (0 average visits on 9/19 to 4.0 on 9/28)
The only indicator not triggered by Richland County was Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy. Richland County has seen 95 new positive COVID-19 cases over the last 2 weeks.
Richland County joins four new Red counties this week for a total of 11 of Ohio’s 88 counties, however Richland County is the only Red county that has the Purple level warning.
Level 3 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. (See this link About Cloth Face Coverings).
Richland County 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.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is considered high risk.
- 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.