(WKBN) – Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio is entering a new phase as we continue learning to live with COVID-19. On Thursday, he unveiled a new, color-coded, county-by-county system to show the coronavirus risk where you live.
“Our best defense moving forward is to be on the offense,” DeWine said. “This means that this next phase is not about hunkering down, but about learning to live with the virus.”
Right now, Trumbull County is among the worst places in the state when it comes to the spread of coronavirus. It has been given a Level 3 (red) COVID-19 alert level, meaning there is very high exposure and spread.
“In addition to multiple outbreaks in congregate settings, Trumbull County also currently has an outbreak in a health care facility,” DeWine said.
He is recommending people in Trumbull County limit activities as much as possible and wear a mask when they go out, as well as follow all other current health orders.
“This should be a wake-up call to all of us that we are in the fight of our lives and we are literally fighting for lives,” DeWine said.
These emergency levels from the newly-released Ohio Public Health Advisory System map are determined by seven indicators:
- New cases per capita
- Sustained increase in new cases
- Proportion of cases not in congregate cases
- Sustained increase in emergency room visits
- Sustained increase in outpatient visits
- Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions
- ICU bed occupancy
“The color-coded system is built on data to assess COVID-19 spread and inform and empower individuals, businesses and local government in their response,” DeWine said.
Receiving a Level 3 public emergency means the county has triggered four or five of the seven indicators.
Those indicators triggered in Trumbull County are new cases per capita, increase in new cases, emergency room visits and outpatient visits.
Trumbull County has seen 150 new cases in the past two weeks and two measures have reached their highest thus far — daily new cases and emergency room visits with COVID-19 symptoms or diagnoses.
“Average new cases per capita in Trumbull County have doubled and the average number of ER visits has tripled,” DeWine said.
There are currently seven Ohio counties at Level 3.
Mahoning County is at Level 2 (orange) because it has triggered two or three of the seven indicators. There is increased risk of exposure and spread, and a growing number of cases. People in Mahoning County should exercise a high degree of caution and follow all current health orders.
There are currently 28 Ohio counties at Level 2.
Columbiana County is at Level 1 (yellow) because it’s triggered zero or one of the seven indicators. There is active exposure and spread, and a moderate number of cases. People there should still follow all current health orders.
There are currently 53 Ohio counties at Level 1.
As of now, there are no counties at Level 4 (purple), which would indicate severe exposure and spread. However, Franklin County — where Columbus is located — is close to reaching that level.
“This is a long battle,” DeWine said. “We won round one, maybe round two, but this is a 15-round heavyweight championship, and we’ve got to stay in there and we’ve got to stay punching.”