County levels
County levels
COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday the current statistics on COVID-19 in Ohio.

“We have 70 counties that are either red or high incidence. That’s 10 million Ohioans or 85 percent of the population, living in an area with a high risk of community transmission,” Governor DeWine said.

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 29 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3): Adams, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, Scioto, Union and Warren.

While Allen County remains at Level 2, Allen County Public Health released the following alert: According to the Ohio Department of Health, the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita for Allen County is 248. This number represents the number of new cases per 100,000 people in Allen County over the past 14 days.

Local public health officials are noting a drastic increase in the number of new daily reported cases: There have been 392 newly reported cases to date in this month, and 33 hospitalizations

If this pace continues, October will record the most cases and hospitalizations in a month since the start of the pandemic

Allen County has the seventh highest per capita rate of Ohio’s 88 counties, at 248.17/100,000 residents.

Director Tami Gough also enouraged people to start their own contact tracing once they have received a positive test.

“Typically, upon completion of the initial disease investigation with a newly-identified individual who has COVID-19, people that are named as having been in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual are notified of their exposure and the need to quarantine. The quicker this can happen, the more it will reduce the spread. People that know their test results can reach out to the contacts they know quicker than Allen County Public Health during this time of vast spread,” Gough said in the release late Thursday. “The rapidly increasing number of cases is extending the time it takes for notifications of exposure for close contacts of newly-identified cases. ACPH is asking individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to let people that they know and have had close contact with (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) that they need to quarantine.”

ACPH is continuing to investigate an outbreak at a fraternal organization in Allen County, but points out that similar outbreaks are likely as the county is experiencing vast community spread.

“The coronavirus needs people to thrive and spread – it does not discriminate on who or where those people are,” Allen County Public Health Commissioner Kathy Luhn said. “Organizations and activities that bring together large groups are providing opportunities for the virus to continue to spread. Please keep your gatherings small and spread out.”

Van Wert County saw an increase of 42 cases since Oct.8, with a total of 204 affirmed cases and four deaths. There are currently 44 active cases in the county with three hospitalizations.

Everyone can help slow the spread

Stay home when necessary to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Because the coronavirus spreads from person to person, if people stay home in the following situations, it will help slow the spread. Please stay home and limit your contact with others as much as possible if:

• you do not feel well

• you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test

• you have been asked to quarantine

• you are a close contact to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

• you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. You should also isolate within your home as much as possible.

Follow safety measures

During this time of rising case numbers it is crucial that residents continue to follow safety measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus:

Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others at all times. When it is not possible to distance yourself, keep interactions as brief as possible – less than 15 minutes.

Wear a mask, even when 6 feet apart from others. Wearing a mask provides an extra layer of protection that lowers the risk of persons becoming infected with the coronavirus. However, a mask does not eliminate exposure to OVERSET FOLLOWS:the virus – making the 6-foot distance even more important.

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.

Locally, playoff football games have been canceled by both Jefferson and St. John’s and Jefferson High School has adopted a hybrid learning model, reducing the number of students in the building on any given day.

St. John’s announced Thursday that a student who attends our junior high/high school has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Allen County Public Health has been notified of this situation and has provided us guidance to assist in conducting contact tracing to identify individuals who had close contact with the student who tested positive,” High School Principal Adam Lee said in a letter to parents. “If your child had close contact with this student, you will be contacted by the health department and/or St. John’s and provided instructions for self-care and any necessary quarantine period.”

Increased spread in cases

Governor DeWine also announced the state’s positivity rate was 5.4% and the seven-day average was 4.2%. This is up from September when the positivity rate was 2.7%. He reported that on Thursday, Ohio had 1,042 COVID inpatients in hospitals, which is a significant increase from the 563 patients on Sept. 20, 2020.

Governor DeWine spoke with Dr. Nick Dreher, medical director of the Population Health Innovation Institute at MetroHealth System, and Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at MetroHealth System about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Ohio.

Dr. Margolius told Ohioans that if they are planning to spend time with family and friends, they need to do it safely by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Dr. Dreher reminded Ohioans that they know how to fight the spread of COVID-19 and need to continue following the proper prevention methods to avoid stress on Ohio’s hospital systems.

“The only way, the only way we can beat this virus back is to follow the prevention methods we have been talking about since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. “Stay home when you are sick. Social distance. Wear a mask. Always.”

Census reminder

Lt. Governor Husted also reminded Ohioans that Thursday was the last day to respond to the 2020 Census. The Census determines the spending of $675 Billion in federal funds and what portion of that funding comes back to Ohio for schools, hospitals, public safety, roads, and bridges.

Friday’s COVID-19 data

There are 177,991 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,054 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,910 people have been hospitalized, including 3,522 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Video of Thursday’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.