Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Thursday afternoon (8/20) that Richland County has moved from Risk Level 2/Orange to Risk Level 1/Yellow in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The Level 1 Risk designation means that there is active exposure and spread of COVID-19 in Richland County but no longer very high exposure.
Facial coverings continue to be mandated in the entire state. 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.
Richland Public Health as well the Governor’s Office and Ohio Department of Health continue to encourage all Richland County residents to limit activities as much as possible and follow all current health orders.
Level 1 health orders are as follows:
- Conduct a daily health/symptom self-evaluation and stay at home if symptomatic.**
- Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
- Wear face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Increase caution when interacting with others not practicing social distancing or wearing face covers.
- Avoid traveling to high-risk areas.
- 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.
**Per CDC, symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This list of symptoms can change as more is learned about COVID-19, and CDC updates this list on its website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
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. The indicators are as follows:
- New Cases Per Capita – Flagged if greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
- Sustained Increase in New Cases – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in overall cases by onset date.
- Proportion of Cases Not Congregate Cases – Flagged if proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting goes over 50%.
- Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of visits to the emergency department with COVID-like illness or a diagnosis.
- Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of people going to a health care provider with COVID symptoms who then receive a COVID confirmed or suspected diagnosis.
- Sustained Increase in New COVID Hospital Admissions – Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 days in the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID.
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy – Flagged if the percentage of occupied ICU beds in each region goes above 80% for at least three days in the last week.
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.