Wearing a mask in Northeast Ohio? CDC map shows which counties have highest COVID transmission rates


(WJW) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its masking guidance, now recommending vaccinated people wear masks indoors in places where the coronavirus is surging — mostly due to the delta variant — across the country.

But where are these surging areas?

The CDC says a substantial or high surge area is a location where there are 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people through a 7-day period. And so far, according to a map showing the up-to-date levels of community transmission in every county, most of Northeast Ohio has not made it to the highest surge levels.

As seen in the map below, most Northeast Ohio counties are in the moderate, or yellow, level. However, Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashland and Columbiana counties have made it to the highest levels. Only Holmes County has been designated at a low transmission level.

However, those surging numbers may not truly represent spread. According to Laura Fauss with the Columbiana County Health District, the county being in a high transmission category is related to their one-day data dump on July 19. She said Mercy Health had a backlog of cases that were sent to the state and it affected Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

The cases were from March through July, but Mercy Health and the state could not give the board the exact dates the people tested positive.

According to the Columbiana County Health District, the county’s accumulative total is 9, 174 COVID-19 positives. A statement on their website clarified the glitch.

This week, due to a glitch in the reporting process between medical laboratories and the state database, we saw an increase of 98 positives tests. These tests were taken between March 2021 and July 2021.

Columbiana County Health District

CDC map

Here’s a breakdown of transmission level for some Northeast Ohio counties for the dates of July 19-July 25:

  • Cuyahoga County – 39.51 cases per 100k people (51.6% people fully vaccinated)
  • Lake County – 37.80 cases per 100k people (52.9% population fully vaccinated)
  • Summit County – 26.62 cases per 100k people (50% population fully vaccinated)
  • Lorain County – 48.09 cases per 100k people (50.2% population fully vaccinated)
  • Medina County – 43.95 cases per 100k people (51.5% population fully vaccinated)
  • Stark County – 42.09 cases per 100k people (43% population fully vaccinated)

Ohio counties along the West Virginia and Kentucky border are seemingly more likely to be designated at the red or orange levels, as seen on the map.

Looking out at the rest of the country, the virus is surging particularly high in southern and southwest states. There are 46.43% of U.S. counties currently at the high (red) transmission level, and 17.02% of counties at the substantial (orange) level.

Graph courtesy the CDC

Find the map right here to find out more about your county’s COVID transmission and vaccination rates.

At this time, most mask mandates have been lifted in Ohio. However, the Ohio Department of Health recommends all unvaccinated people wear masks while out in public.

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