Richland County Remains Red with Warning for Purple Level
Richland County remained at Risk Level 3/Red for the ninth straight week in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS) for COVID-19. Richland County has been at Risk Level 3 since October 1. Risk Level 3 indicates very high exposure and spread of coronavirus.
This week’s Level 3/Red rating also received a warning that Richland County was in jeopardy of hitting the highest warning level, Level 4/Purple. The Purple level indicates sever exposure and spread of coronavirus and the recommendation to only leave home for supplies and services. It does not curtail businesses or the need to report to work.
Richland County met all seven indicators for New Cases per Capita (730.48 cases per 100,000 population, up from 529.9), New Case Increase (885 new cases, up from 642), Non-Congregate Cases, Outpatients Visits, Hospital Admissions, ICU Bed Occupancy and Emergency Department Visits.
Richland County will remain at the Red indicator of very high exposure and spread of COVID-19 until the Cases per Capita drops below 100 and will change to Purple if six or seven indicators are hit again on December 3. Richland County residents are encouraged to limit activities as much as possible and to follow all current health orders.
Richland County is one of 75 of Ohio’s 88 counties this week with the Level 3/Red designation and one of 11 counties moving to the Purple Watch List. The counties moving to the watch list for Level Purple are: Adams, Clermont, Hamilton, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Warren, and Wood Counties. These counties meet enough indicators to be considered at risk level 4 or purple, because of the sustained impact on healthcare utilization. However, the system requires them to meet these criteria for two weeks in a row to ensure a consistent trend in the data before they become purple. Four counties in Ohio went to Level 4/Purple on November 26. Nine (9) of Ohio counties are at Level 2/Orange, however all counties in Ohio are at a high incident level indicating an increasing spread of COVID-19.
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.
- Must wear a face covering (cloth mask) when entering a retail business of grocery.
- 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.
To fight the spread of the coronavirus, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine:
- Revised the Mandatory State mask order on November 11 to require businesses to ensure that customers and employees are wearing masks.
- Revised the Order to Limit and/or Prohibit Mass Gatherings in the State of Ohio on November 17 that prohibits public and private gatherings of greater than 10 people outside of a single residence.
- Ordered all retail businesses to enforce a curfew at 10 p.m. and not to reopen until 5 a.m. the next morning for 21 days starting November 19.
- Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID19. Get tested if you develop symptoms.
- If you have been in contact with someone that has recently tested positive for COVID19 or someone with COVID19 symptoms, stay home 14 days after your last contact with that person and monitor yourself for symptoms.
- If you are tested for COVID-19 during the quarantine period and test negative, you need to remain in quarantine for the full 14 day period in case symptoms develop.
- If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, remain in isolation for 10 days after symptoms start and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
- For additional quarantining and isolation guidelines, see: https://richlandhealth.org/quarantining/
- There is an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 among older adults and those who:
- Have a chronic illness such as asthma or diabetes
- Are obese or overweight
- Smoke or have a history of smoking
Avoid contact with anyone who is considered high-risk to protect them.
Stores should consider offering hours available for seniors only shopping to reduce exposure risk
- Get your annual flu shot (call 419-774-4700 to make an appoint at Richland Public Health)
- Limit in-person interactions with others. Consider alternative events for Thanksgiving and Holiday celebrations, avoid close contact with those outside of your household.
- Limit attending gatherings of any number. Consider postponing gatherings like wedding receptions or parties with extended groups of family and friends. This will help to prevent transmission of the virus during the holidays.
- For schools that are providing hybrid or full in-person education and/or holding extracurricular activities or sporting events, paying special attention to safety precautions is essential. Students should not gather in groups outside the schools setting and school activities.
- Consider working remotely where options are available.
For more information about the coronavirus situation in Richland County visit https://www.richlandhealth.org/ and follow the coronavirus links in the sliders. See https://richlandhealth.org/quarantining/ for information on quarantining and isolation.
For more information about the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, visit http://coronavirus.ohio.gov.
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.